Genus Notolabrus


A genus with seven species confined to the Australian and New Zealand region, including islands and reefs in the Tasman Sea.

Meristic features.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: IX, 11
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 10
Caudal fin rays: 12
Pectoral fin rays: 14
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 24-26

Body moderately deep, compressed.  Head moderately large, dorsal profile convex; eyes moderately large; mouth small, upper jaw  not reaching as far as eye; teeth moderately large, caniniform, anterior two pairs in both jaws enlarged and recurved; upper jaw lacking enlarged canines at rear.

Scales moderately large, covering body; no scaly sheath at base of dorsal and anal fins; head naked except for scales on cheek and opercle; lateral-line abruptly curved downwards below soft dorsal fin. 

Dorsal fin continuous with an elongate base and uniform height; anal fin similar to rear half of dorsal fin; caudal fin truncate. Pectoral fins moderately large, upper rays longest, not reaching near anus. Pelvic fins short, arising beneath pectoral-fin bases, not reaching near anus.

Recent molecular phylogenetic work by Mabuchi et al. (2004) and Westneat and Alvaro (2005) indicates that Notolabrus is closely related to Pseudolabrus and that separate generic status may not be warranted.

Author: Barry C. Russell & Martin F. Gomon

Cite this page as:
Barry C. Russell & Martin F. Gomon, Notolabrus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 May 2024,


Gomon, M.F. &. Russell, B.C. 1994. Family Labridae. pp. 675-699 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Mabuchi, K., T. Nakabo & M. Nishida. 2004. Molecular phylogeny of the antitropical genus Pseudolabrus (Perciformes: Labridae): evidence for a Southern Hemisphere origin. Molecular Phylogen. Evol. 32: 375–382.

Russell, B.C. 1988. Revision of the labrid fish genus Pseudolabrus and allied genera. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 9: 1-72

Russell, B.C. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Labridae. pp. 638-659 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Westneat, M.W. & Alvaro M.E. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of the reef fish family Labridae. Molecular Phylogen. Evol. 36: 370-390.