Blackfin Sweetlips, Diagramma melanacrum Johnson & Randall 2001

Other Names: Blackfin Slatey, Black-foot Sweetlips, Blacktip Sweetlips

A Blackfin Sweetlips, Diagramma melanacrum, at Bali, Indonesia. Source: Jim Greenfield / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

Silvery-grey to yellowish sweetlip with brown spots on the head and body, black spots on the yellow dorsal and caudal fins, and the pelvic, anal and lower part of the caudal fin blackish. Juveniles and subadults are yellowish with black stripes and rows of large spots along the sides.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Diagramma melanacrum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Blackfin Sweetlips, Diagramma melanacrum Johnson & Randall 2001

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Australian EEZ from the Australian territory of Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical East Indo-West Pacific - Malaysia Sabah) and Indonesia (Kalimanta & Bali to West Papua). Inhabits coastal reefs and lagoons - solitary or in small groups over sandy bottoms.


Dorsal fin X-XI, 22-24; Anal fin III, 6-7; Pectoral fin 17; Gill rakers 6-7 + 13-14; Lateral line scales (tubed) 55-57.
Body depth (adults) 2.4-2.6 in SL; outer row of teeth in jaws slightly enlarged, movable; swim bladder with 3 short anterior projections. Third or fourth dorsal-fin spine longest, 1.8-1.9 times in head; first dorsal-fin spine 1.7-2.3 in length of second; interspinous membrane of dorsal fin not incised; pelvic fins reaching anus or slightly beyond, 1.2-1.3 times in head; caudal fin truncate to slightly emarginate.


Body pale yellow dorsally, shading to pale silvery grey on sides and below, with numerous small dark brown spots, which are smaller and form oblique rows on body below lateral line; head pale purplish grey with numerous small dark brown spots, opercular membrane black; dorsal fin and upper 3/4 of caudal fin with small dark spots; lower 1/4 of caudal fin black; anal and pelvic fins mostly black; dorsal and caudal fins mostly yellow, and lower part of caudal fin black.


Nocturnal carnivore - forms small resting aggregations during the day, before spreading out over the reef to feed on benthic invertebrate at night.


The specific name melanacrum is from the Greek melanos (= black) and akros (= tip, at the end), in reference to the black outer part of the anal and pelvic fins, and lower part of caudal fin.

Species Citation

Diagramma melanacrum Johnson & Randall 2001, Mem. Qld Mus. 46(2): 659, figs 1a-f, 8. Type locality: south of Lombok, Indonesia [8°24'S, 116°01'E]. 


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Blackfin Sweetlips, Diagramma melanacrum Johnson & Randall 2001


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. (pp. 198-199,340;fig.5, as Plectorhinchus pica)

Johnson, J.W. & Randall, J.E. in Johnson, J.W., Randall, J.E. & Chenoweth, S.F. 2001. Diagramma melanacrum new species of haemulid fish from Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines with generic review. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 46(2): 657-676. See ref at BHL

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Australia : Zoonetics pp. 304-622.

Moore, G I., Morrison, S.M. & Johnson, J.W. 2020. The distribution of shallow marine fishes of the Kimberley, Western Australia, based on a long-term dataset and multiple methods. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 85:105-115

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37350024

Depth:3-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:50 cm TL

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