Biglip Damsel, Cheiloprion labiatus (Day 1877)

Other Names: Big-lip Damsel, Big-lip Damsel-fish

A Biglip Damsel, Cheiloprion labiatus, in Coral Bay, Western Australia, July 2015. Source: Ben K. Jones. License: All rights reserved

A brown damselfish with very large lips, often a darker area towards the rear of the body, a small dark spot at the top of the gill opening, and a narrow bluish margin on the fins.

Video of in Biglip Damsel, Cheiloprion labiatus, in Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia, November 2015.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Cheiloprion labiatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Biglip Damsel, Cheiloprion labiatus (Day 1877)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from north of Shark Bay, WA (23°20'S) to Palm Island, QLD (18°46'S), also Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea (12°10'S), and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific.

Individuals or small groups usually shelter amongst Acropora corals in lagoons and on sheltered coastal reefs.


Feeds mostly on the polyps of Acropora corals, and presumably the big lips of this fish provides some protection against the sharp coral skeleton.

Species Citation

Pomacentrus labiatus Day 1877, Fishes of India 3: 384. Type locality: Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


Dianne J. Bray

Biglip Damsel, Cheiloprion labiatus (Day 1877)


Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Melle, Germany : Mergus Verlag 271 pp.

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

Day, F. 1877. The Fishes of India; being a natural history of the fishes known to inhabit the seas and fresh waters of India, Burma and Ceylon. London : B. Quaritch Part 3 369-552 pp., pls 79-138.

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372030

Depth:1-3 m

Feeding:Feeds on live corals

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:7.5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map