Redfin Emperor, Monotaxis heterodon (Bleeker 1854)

A Redfin Emperor, Monotaxis heterodon, at Madang, Papua New Guinea. Source: Jan Messersmith / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A silvery-grey seabream with narrow white bars on body 1-2 scale rows wide, a large black blotch behind the pectoral-fin base (axil), brownish to reddish lips, a yellowish tail, and usually fins with a yellowish to reddish tinge.
This species is frequently confused with the Monocle Bream, Monotaxis grandoculis, which also occurs in Australian waters.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Monotaxis heterodon in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jul 2024,

Redfin Emperor, Monotaxis heterodon (Bleeker 1854)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean (images on and Allen & Erdmann 2012), and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Indo-West Pacific: Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands to New Caledonia.
Inhabits sheltered coral reefs in depths to 25 m.


Dorsal fin X, 10; Anal fin III, 9; Pectoral fin 13-14; Lateral line scales 44-47; scale rows between lateral line and anal-fin origin 12.5.

Similar Species

Differs from the similar Bigeye Seabream, Monotaxis grandoculis, in having narrower bars on the upper body (bars 2 scales wide, vs. 3-4 scales in M. grandoculis), and the dark coloration on the back extending more ventrally than in M. grandoculis.

Species Citation

Pagrus heterodon Bleeker, 1854, Natuurk. Tijdsch. Nederland. IndiĆ« 6: 54. Type locality: Sindangole, Halmahera, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2018

Redfin Emperor, Monotaxis heterodon (Bleeker 1854)


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

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. (in part, middle image p. 120 is M. heterodon)

Bleeker, P. 1854, Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Halmaheira (Gilolo). Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch IndiĆ« 6: 49-62. Ref at BHL

Carpenter, K.E., Lawrence, A. & Myers, R. 2016. Monotaxis heterodon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16721443A16722455. Downloaded on 20 May 2018.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

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. (in part, right side image on p. 204 is M. heterodon)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37351032

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:3-25 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:35 cm TL

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