Barred Soapfish, Diploprion bifasciatum Kuhl & Hasselt 1828

Other Names: Doublebanded Soapfish, Two Banded Grouper, Two-banded Perch, Two-banded Sea Perch, Two-banded Soapfish, Yellow Emperor, Yellow striped Grouper

A Barred Soapfish, Diploprion bifasciatum, at Julian Rocks near Byron Bay, New South Wales. Source: Dave Harasti / License: All rights reserved

Barred Soapfish usually range from pale yellow or greyish yellow to bright yellow with a dark bar through the eye and a broad dark band on the rear half of the body, and large rounded yellow fins. Large individuals may be almost black with yellow fins. Small juveniles are bluish on the front half of the body becoming yellow towards the rear, with a black spinous dorsal fin. They may resemble venomous sabretooth blennies of the genus Meiacanthus.

When stressed or threatened, Barred Soapfish secrete a skin toxin called grammistin.

Video of juvenile and adult Barred Soapfish in Aljui Bay, Indonesia.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Diploprion bifasciatum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Feb 2024,

Barred Soapfish, Diploprion bifasciatum Kuhl & Hasselt 1828

More Info


Rottnest Island, Western Australia, around the tropical north to at least the Solitary Islands, New South Wales, with juveniles to at least Shellharbour, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific, from the Maldives and India to Papua New Guinea, north to southern Japan, and south to Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea.Inhabits coastal rocky and coral reefs, often near caves and crevices, or in semi-silty areas.


Dorsal fin VIII, 13-16; Anal fin II, 12-13. Body compressed, relatively deep, width 3.3-4 in depth.


Carnivore - preys mainly on fishes.


When threatened or stressed, Barred Soapfish secrete a skin toxin to deter predators.

Species Citation

Diploprion bifasciatum Cuvier, 1828, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 2: 137, pl. 21. Type locality: Java, Indonesia


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Barred Soapfish, Diploprion bifasciatum Kuhl & Hasselt 1828


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Onuki, H., Tachibana, K. & Fusetani, N. 1993. Structure of lipogrammistin-A, a lipophilic ichthyotoxin secreted by the soapfish Diploprion bifasciatum. Tetrahedron Letters 34(35): 27 Abstract

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Williams, J.T., Carpenter, K.E., Lawrence, A. & Myers, R. 2016. Diploprion bifasciatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69584403A69592287. Downloaded on 11 March 2018.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37312002

Biology:Secretes a skin toxin

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-100 m, commonly 5-50 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map