Genus Dotalabrus


The genus Dotalabrus contains two species, both endemic to southern Australia. Dotalabrus is distinguished from related genera by having the anterior pair of canines recurved strongly forward, reduced lateral jaw dentition reduced, with only 6-7 lateral jaw teeth; laterosensory canal tube bifurcate (simple, unbranched in juveniles); branchiostegal rays 5 (versus 6); pectoral rays ii, l0 (versus ii, 11-12 in other pseudolabrine genera).

Body moderately deep, compressed; head moderate, dorsal profile convex; eye moderately large, upper jaw not reaching front of eye; jaws with a single row of small canine teeth, anterior pair enlarged and curved strongly forward. Body scales moderately large; scales absent from head except for 1-2 rows on cheeks and 8-10 large scales on opercle; lateral line bent abruptly downwards below rear of soft dorsal fin; dorsal fin of uniform hieght; caudal fin truncate.

Meristic features: Dorsal fin IX, ll (rarely IX, l0 or 12; or X,l0); Anal fin III, l0 (rarely III, ll); Caudal fin 5-6 (rarely 3) + 2 + 12 + 2 + 5-6 (rarely 4); Pectoral fin ii, l0 (rarely ii, ll); Pelvic fin 1, 5; Lateral line scales 25-26; Vertebrae 9 + 16; Branchiostegal rays 5.

Scale rows above lateral line 3-4; Scale rows below lateral line 8-9; Predorsal scales 4-6; Cheek scale rows behind eye 1; Cheek scale rows below eye 2 (rarely 1).

Infraorbital bone 7; Pleural ribs ending on ninth vertebra; 2-3 epihaemal ribs (on tenth through eleventh or twelfth vertebra); first caudal vertebra (VlO) with haemal spine; gill rakers 13-19.

Dotalabrus Whitley, 1930: 251. Type species Cheilinus aurantiacus Castelnau, 1872.

Key to the species of Dotalabrus

Pelvic fins clear; first dorsal-fin spine moderately short, 5.1–7.9 in HL       Dotalabrus alleni

Pelvic fins dusky; first dorsal-fin spine moderately long, 3.7–7.9 in HL       Dotalabrus aurantiacus

Author: Barry C. Russell, Martin F. Gomon & Dianne J. Bray

Cite this page as:
Barry C. Russell, Martin F. Gomon & Dianne J. Bray, Dotalabrus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 07 Jul 2022,


Allen, G.R., N.J. Cross, C.J. Allen & M.F. Gomon 2006. Labridae: Labrinae. pp. 1368-1418 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp.

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.

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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.

Whitley, G.P. 1930. Five new generic names for Australian fishes. Australian Zoologist 6(3): 250-251.