Genus Pseudolabrus


A genus with ten species found in the Indo-Pacific. Most species are restricted to temperate waters of Australia and New Zealand, and 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 13; Pelvic fin spines/rays I, 5; Lateral line scales 25-26.

Body moderately deep, compressed; head moderately large, dorsal profile slightly 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; each side of upper jaw with enlarged, curved canine at rear.

Scales moderately large, covering body; head naked except for cheek and opercle; lateral-line abruptly curved downwards below soft dorsal fin.

Dorsal fin continuous, with elongate base and uniform height; anal fin similar to and opposite rear half of dorsal fin; caudal fin truncate; pectoral fins long, pointed, upper rays longest, reaching to or near anus; ventral fins short, arising beneath pectoral-fin bases, not reaching near anus.

Recent molecular phylogenetic work of Mabuchi et al. (2004) and Westneat and Alvaro (2005) indicates that Notolabrus Russell 1988, is closely related to Pseudolabrus and that separate generic status for Notolabrus may be unwarranted.

Author: Dianne J. Bray

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Pseudolabrus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2024,


Bleeker, P. 1862. Conspectus generum Labroideorum analyticus. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1861: 408-418.

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

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

Mabuchi, K., Nakabo, T. & Nishida, M. 2004. Molecular phylogeny of the antitropical genus Pseudolabrus (Perciformes: Labridae): evidence for a Southern Hemisphere origin. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 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. PDF Open access

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.