Notes on soapfishes (Serranidae: Grammistinae), with a pictorial review of the genus Pogonoperca

John E. Randall and Erwin Schraml

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 1-6, Volume 16, Issue 1 – 20 January 2010


The skin toxin of soapfishes of the family Serranidae, subfamily Grammistinae is reviewed. A resumé is given of the classification of the genus Pogonoperca, represented by P. punctata in the central and western Pacific, and P. ocellata in the Indian Ocean. Color illustrations are provided of the adults of these two species and three juvenile to subadult stages of P. punctata. In addition, an aquarium photo is presented that represents a probable undescribed species of Pogonoperca for which no specimens are known. The listing by Boulenger (1895) of ?Grammistes compressus Liénard at the head of his synonymy for Pogonoperca ocellata Günther (1859) is shown to be an invalid name for Aulacocephalus temminckii Bleeker, following Michel (1972) and Monod (1976). Color illustrations of A. temminckii are provided.

Full Text | PDF (172 KB)


ALLEN, G. R. & ADRIM, M. 2003. Coral reef fishes of Indonesia. Zoological Studies 47 (1): 1-72. ANDERSON, R. C., RANDALL, J. E. & KUITER, R. H. 1998.

Additions to the fish fauna of the Maldive Islands. Part 2. New records of fishes from the Maldive Islands, with notes on other species. Ichthyological Bulletin of the J. L. B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology 67: 20-32.

BALDWIN, C. C. & JOHNSON, G. D. 1993. Phylogeny of the Epinephelinae (Teleostei: Serranidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 52 (1): 240-283.

BALDWIN, C. C. & SMITH, W. L. 1998. Belonoperca pylei, a new species of seabass (Teleostei: Serranidae: Epinephelinae: Diploprionini) from the Cook Islands with comments on relationships among diploprionins. Ichthyological Research 45 (4): 325-333.

BLEEKER, P. 1854. Nieuwe nalezingen op de ichthyologie van Japan. Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wettenschappen 26: 1-132.

BOULENGER, G. A. 1895. A Catalogue of the Fishes of the British Museum, Ed. 2. British Museum, London. xix + 391 pp.

FRICKE, R. 1999. Fishes of the Mascarene Islands (Réunion, Mauritius, Rodriguez). An annotated checklist, with descriptions of new species. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein. Vii + 759 pp.

GOSLINE, W. A. 1960. A new Hawaiian percoid fish, Suttonia lineata, with a discussion of its relationships and a definition of the family Grammistidae. Pacific Science 14 (1): 28-38.

GÜNTHER, A. 1859. Catalogue of the Acanthopterygian Fishes in the Collection of the British Museum. Vol. 1. British Museum, London, xxxi + 524 pp.

HASHIMOTO, Y. & KAMIYA, H. 1969. Occurrence of a toxic substance in the skin of a sea bass Pogonoperca punctata. Toxicon 7: 65-70.

MARETZKI, G. & DEL CASTILLO, J. 1967. A toxin secreted by the soapfish Rypticus saponaceus. Toxicon 4: 245–250.

MICHEL, C. 1972. Annexe II. Zoologie. Rapport Annuel sur les Travaux de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle de l’île Maurice. 1972: 177-182.

MONOD, T. 1976. L’ichthyologie a l’ile Maurice de 1829 à 1846: autour de Julien Desjardins (1799-1840). Travaux et Documents de l’O.R.S.T.O.M., no. 47: 11-37.

RANDALL, J. E. 1967. Food habits of reef fishes of the West Indies. Studies in Tropical Oceanography 5: 665-847.

RANDALL, J. E., AIDA, K., HIBIYA, T., MITSUURA, N., KAMIYA, H. & HASHIMOTO, Y. 1971. Grammistin, the skin toxin of soapfishes, and its significance in the classification of the Grammistidae. Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory 19 (2/3): 157-190.

RANDALL, J. E., SMITH, M. M. & AIDA, K. 1980. Notes on the classification and distribution of the Indo-Pacific soapfish Belonoperca chabanaudi (Perciformes: Grammistidae). Special Publication of the J. L. B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Rhodes University 21: 1-8.

SHEN, S.-C. (ed.). 1993. Fishes of Taiwan. Department of Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei (in Chinese). xx + 960 pp.

Previous post

Volume 16, Issue 1, 20 January 2010

Next post

Larval development of laboratory-reared Green Mandarin, Synchiropus splendidus (Teleostei: Callionymidae)

The Author



No Comment

Leave a reply