Checked swallowtail, Odontanthias borbonius (Valenciennes 1828)

A Checked swallowtail, Odontanthias borbonius, on the Izu Peninsula, Japan, August 2013. Source: Izuzuki / License: CC BY Attribution-ShareAlike

A pink to reddish anthiine with 9-11 large brown or yellow blotches (larger than eye) on the side, and a broad bright yellow band running below the eye from the snout tip to the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Odontanthias borbonius in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Sep 2020,

Checked swallowtail, Odontanthias borbonius (Valenciennes 1828)

More Info


Coral Sea off Cairns, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical Indo-west Pacific from coast of east Africa to the Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, north to Japan and Taiwan. Inhabits deep reefs in depths to 300 m.


Dorsal fin X, 16-18; Anal fin III, 7-8 (usually 7); Pectoral fin 16-18; Lateral-line scales 39-43; Gill rakers 11-13 + 27-29.

Body strongly compressed; third dorsal fin spine elongate in males; caudal fin deeply forked. 


A protogynous hermaphrodite, changing sex from female to male.

Species Citation

Serranus borbonius Valenciennes 1828, in Cuvier & Valenciennes Histoire naturelle des poissons 2: 263. Type locality: RĂ©union, western Mascarenes, southwestern Indian Ocean.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Checked swallowtail, Odontanthias borbonius (Valenciennes 1828)


Heemstra, P.C., Hissmann, K., Fricke, H. & Smale, M.J. 2006. Fishes of the deep demersal habitat at Ngazidja (Grand Comoro) Island, Western Indian Ocean. South African Journal of Science 102: 444-460.

Randall, J.E. & Heemstra, P.C. 2006. Review of the Indo-Pacific fishes of the genus Odontanthias (Serranidae: Anthiinae), with descriptions of two new species and a related genus. Indo-Pacific Fishes 38: 1-32.

White, W.T. 2011. Odontanthias randalli n. sp., a new anthiine fish (Serranidae: Anthiinae) from Indonesia. Zootaxa 3015: 21-28.

Valenciennes, A. 1828. In: Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 2 xxi, 2 + 490 pp., pls 9-40.

Williams, J.T., Carpenter, K.E., Lawrence, A. & Myers, R. 2016. Odontanthias borbonius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69586671A69592387. Downloaded on 08 July 2019.

Quick Facts


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:92-300 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map