Thumbprint Emperor, Lethrinus harak (Forsskål 1775)

Other Names: Black Blotch Emperor, Black-blotch Emperor

A Thumbprint Emperor, Lethrinus harak, at Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

Olive to greyish above, becoming silvery white below, with a large elliptical black blotch broadly edged in yellow on sides, fins white to pinkish, dorsal and anal fins lightly mottled or striped, caudal fin orange to red. 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Lethrinus harak in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 May 2024,

Thumbprint Emperor, Lethrinus harak (Forsskål 1775)

More Info


Widespread in the Indo-West Pacific, from eastern Africa to Samoa, north to southern Japan and south to northeastern Australia. Inhabits shallow sandy, coral rubble, mangrove, lagoon, and seagrass areas. 
Inhabits shallow sandy and seagrass areas adjacent to coral reefs. Juveniles are often seen in Sargassum and seagrass areas on fringing reefs.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin X, 9; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 13; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 46-47.
Body moderately elongate, compressed, head profile nearly straight above eye; maxilla with a longitudinal ridge and a smooth outer surface. Cheek naked; inner surface of pectoral fin axil fully scaled; usually 13 or 14 scale rows around caudal peduncle. Fourth or fifth dorsal-fin spine longest.


Carnivore - feeds on small fishes and a wide variety of benthic invertebrates.


Dianne J. Bray

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37351017

Depth:0-65 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:50 cm TL

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