Brown Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus gibbosus (Lacépède 1802)

Other Names: Black Sweetlip, Blubber-lip Bream, Brown Blubber-lips, Brown Sweet-lips, Dusky Sweetlips, Hairy Hotlips, Harry Hotlips, Rubber-lip Bream, Silver Grunt, Silver Javelin

A Brown Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus gibbosus, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales, July 2016. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A robust silvery-grey to brownish sweetlips with dark scale margins, a dark face, large rubbery lips, a dark narrow bar on the front of the gill cover, a black margin on the rear of the gill cover, and dark rear fins. Juveniles drift mimic dead leaves by drifting on their sides.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Plectorhinchus gibbosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 May 2022,

Brown Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus gibbosus (Lacépède 1802)

More Info


Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Flinders Island, Tasmania; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-west-central Pacific, from South Africa across south-east Asia and China to northern Australia and east to Polynesia.
Inhabits reefs and estuaries in shallow coastal waters, entering mangroves and occasionally freshwaters - occurs in upper estuaries more than other species in the genus.

Species Citation

Holocentrus gibbosus Lacépède 1802, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 4: 344, 389. Type locality: unknown.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Brown Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus gibbosus (Lacépède 1802)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1979. The Fishes of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Aust. Natl. Parks Wldlf. Ser. Spec. Publ. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service 81 pp. 15 pls. 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Larson, H. 2012. Plectorhinchus gibbosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T196408A2454631. Downloaded on 23 June 2018.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37350012

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:8-25 m

Habitat:Reef associated, estuaries

Max Size:75 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map