Coral Devil, Plesiops coeruleolineatus Rüppell 1835

Other Names: Banded Devilfish, Crimsontip Longfin, Red-tipped Longfin

A Coral Devil, Plesiops coeruleolineatus, on the Izu Peninsula, Japan. Source: Izuzuki / License: CC by Attribution-ShareAlike

A dark brownish longfin with a blue-edged black stripe on the dorsal fin, red tips on the dorsal-fin spines, a dark blue line below the eye, and a pair of dark spots behind the eye. Juvenile are paler brown with whitish spots on the head. The Coral Devil hides in crevices and is rarely seen by divers.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Plesiops coeruleolineatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024,

Coral Devil, Plesiops coeruleolineatus Rüppell 1835

More Info


North West Cape, WA (21º55´S) to Heron Island, QLD (23º27´S); Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef, Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands WA; Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands; tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits caves and crevices on shallow outer reefs in depths to 23 m.


Dorsal fin X-XII, 6-8; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 19-24; Pelvic fin I, 4; Lateral line pores 18-21 + 7-14; Gill rakers 3-6 + 6-11.  
Body elongate, maxilla naked; preopercular margin smooth; teeth absent from tongue. 
Lateral line disjunct - dorsal lateral line running from upper end of opercle to last dorsal-fin ray, lower running midlaterally onto caudal peduncle.
Membranes between dorsal-fin spines deeply incised; pelvic fins elongate.

Species Citation

Plesiops coeruleolineatus Rüppell 1835, Fische des Rothen Meeres 1: 5, pl. 2(5). Type locality: Massawa, Eritrea, Red Sea.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Coral Devil, Plesiops coeruleolineatus Rüppell 1835


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. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 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.

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2004. Basslets, Hamlets and their relatives. A comprehensive guide to selected Serranidae and Plesiopidae. Chorleywood, UK : TMC Publishing 1, 216 pp. (as Plesiops melas)

Mooi, R.D. 1995. Revision, phylogeny, and discussion of biology and biogeography of the fish genus Plesiops (Perciformes: Plesiopidae). Royal Ontario Museum Life Sciences Contributions 159: 1-107.

Mooi, R.D. 1999. Families Plesiopidae, Notograptidae. pp. 2586-2587 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Ogilby, J.D. 1913. On six new or rare Queensland fishes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 2: 81-89 figs 21-23 (as Pharopteryx melas)

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.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1835. Neue Wirbelthiere zu der Fauna von Abyssinien gehörig. Fische des Rothen Meeres. Frankfurt Vol. 1, pp. 1–28, pls 1–7.

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37316013

Depth:0-23 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8.5 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map