Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 June 2016 | 8(6): 8923–8926




A first record of the Lined Wrasse Anampses lineatus Randall, 1972 (Perciformes: Labridae) in the Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu, India


S. Prakash 1 & T.T. Ajith Kumar 2

1 Centre for Climate Change Studies, Sathyabama University, Jeppiaar Nagar, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600119, India

2 National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (ICAR), Canal Ring Road, Dilkusha Post, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226002, India

1 (corresponding author), 2





doi: | ZooBank:


Editor: A. Biju Kumar, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India. Date of publication: 26 June 2016 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # 1984 | Received 06 April 2016 | Final received 02 June 2016 | Finally accepted 21 June 2016


Citation: Prakash, S. & T.T.A. Kumar (2016). A first record of the Lined Wrasse Anampses lineatus Randall, 1972 (Perciformes: Labridae) in the Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(6): 8923–8926;


Copyright: © Prakash & Kumar 2016. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: The Rufford Foundation, London to SP (Ref. No. 15679-1).


Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to Mr. Vijayan and Mr. Paramasivam of Tuticorin for helping with the collection of the wrasse specimens. SP is thankful to Prof. T. Subramoniam, Senior Scientist, Centre for Climate Change Studies, Sathyabama University for his valuable comments on the MS. SP is also thankful to The Chancellor, Sathyabama University, Chennai for the facilities and his constant support to the Centre for Climate Change Studies. The present work was carried out as a part of the Rufford Small Grant Project entitled “Status and safe exploitation of marine ornamental fishes and invertebrates from the Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu, India: An expensive reserve for conservation” funded by The Rufford Foundation, London to SP (Ref. No. 15679-1) (





Wrasses in the family Labridae have a very diverse and abundant distribution in the tropical coral reefs ecosystem. This family is the second largest (after Gobiidae) (Parenti & Randall 2010), with varying numbers of species (504 species belonging to 47 genera), size from less than two inches (the Minute Wrasse Minilabrus striatus) to greater than seven feet (the Hump-head Wrasse Cheilinus undulatus), and shape, i.e., moderately deep bodied to slender and long to short snouted (Randall et al. 1996; Allen et al. 2003). Wrasses are carnivores, but their food habits mostly depend on the habitats they live in. Structural changes in the skull, in particular the jaws and dentition enable the wrasses to exploit a wide variety of prey items such as hard-shelled invertebrates (crabs, hermit crabs, molluscs, brittle stars) and zooplankton (copepods) (Westneat et al. 2005). The genus Anampses also forcefully strike the substratum with their mouths, sucking very small animals including crustaceans, molluscs, worms, and foraminiferans along with sand and detritus (Randall 1995).

An annotated checklist of the family Labridae provided by Parenti & Randall (2000) lists 453 valid species under 68 genera. This list was again updated by the same authors, which increased to 504 species belonging to 70 genera (Parenti & Randall 2011). The tropical Indo-Pacific genus Anampses Quoy & Gaimard, 1824 could be easily distinguished by a couple of large incisiform teeth at the front of the jaws, scale less head, lateral line continuous, smooth pre-opercular margin, nine dorsal spines and 12 dorsal rays and three anal spines and 12 anal rays (Randall 1972). In India, the labrid fishes have been hitherto recorded from the coral reef regions of India such as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (64 species; Rao 2009), the Lakshadweep (44 species; Jones & Kumaran 1980) and the Gulf of Mannar (43 species; Ramesh et al. 2008). However, the information on the genus Anampses from India is very scanty except on two species (A. meleagrides and A. caeruleopunctatus), documented from the Andaman & Nicobar Islands (Rao 2009) and A. caeruleopunctatus, A. amboinensis and A. diadematus from the Lakshadweep islands (Jones & Kumaran 1980).

The Gulf of Mannar (GOM) coast extends from Rameswaram to Tuticorin lying between 7805’E–79030’E & 8045’N–9025’N, and extending to a distance of 140km. There are 21 islands running almost parallel to the coastline of the Gulf of Mannar (Image 1). It is one of the world’s richest regions from the perspective of marine biodiversity and the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in South Asia. This highly productive region harbours a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, making it one of the richest coastal regions in the country (Ramesh et al. 2008).






While assessing the status and exploitation of marine ornamentals from the Gulf of Mannar under the Rufford’s Small Grant Project, we carried out a few underwater surveys off the Tuticorin waters by adopting snorkeling and skuba diving methods for identifying the habitats of marine ornamental fishes and invertebrates. The surveyed areas were mostly covered with corals and coral boulders with encrusting algal beds and the depth of sampling sites vary from 10–50 m. Among the several marine ornamental fishes collected, we identified a lined wrasse Anampses lineatus Randall, 1972, by analyzing the morphometry and meristic characters. After a detailed understanding of distribution patterns, the range extension of A. lineatus was expected for the first time in the Indian peninsular region.

The length of the specimen was given as standard length (SL): the anterior end of the upper lip to the base of the caudal fin; head length (HL): same anterior point to the posterior edge of the opercle flap; body depth taken vertically between the belly and the base of the dorsal fin; snout length: the anterior end of the upper lip to the anterior edge of the eye; caudal peduncle depth is the least depth, and caudal peduncle length: the horizontal distance between the verticals at the rear base of the anal fin and the caudal fin base; lengths of spines and fin rays are measured to their extreme bases. Meristic characters such as spines, rays and lateral line scales are also considered to confirm the identity of the species. The meristic abbreviations are as follows: D - Dorsal fin; V - Ventral fin; A - Anal fin; P - Pectoral fin; Ll - Lateral line scales. Finally, the morphometric characters are expressed as % standard lengths (SL) and % head lengths (HL) (Table 1).



Class Actinopterygii Klein, 1885

Order Perciformes Bleeker, 1859

Family Labridae Curvier, 1816

Genus Anampses Quoy & Gaimard, 1824

Anampses lineatus Randall, 1972 (Image 2)

Common names: Lined Wrasse, Lined Tamarin, Tamarin Wrasse

Material examined: ZSI/MBRC/F.1462, 02.ii.2015, two individuals (SL 74mm & 39mm), India, Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin, 8050’06.90”N & 78012’48.81”E, depth 4.5m, coll. S. Prakash.

Diagnosis based on the present material: D. IX, 12; V. I, 5; A. III, 12; P. 13; Ll. 26.

Head scale less, maxillary reaching above the nostrils, mid-dorsal region of the nape scale less, scales on thoracic region smaller than the rest of body, fin scale less, and origin of the dorsal fin above the upper end of gill opening. Body orange-brown with narrow blue-green lines on the longitudinal scale rows, broken into dashes on dorsal, ventral and posterior regions, head and chest with irregular blue-green spots and shading dull yellowish tapered bands, a black spot on the opercular flap, dorsal fin yellow and dusky on the lower half with irregular blue-green spots, anal fin yellow bordered with blue-green stripe, pectoral fins hyaline with pinkish rays, pelvic and anal fins are yellow bordered with blue stripes, caudal fin black with white stripe in between.

Habitat: Mostly inhabits coral reefs and usually in deeper waters between 20–40 m. Our specimens were collected from the shallow coral reef regions at a depth of 25–28 m. Other species associated with A. lineatus are identified as Halichoeres sp., Thalassoma sp., Ostorhinchus sp., Apogon sp.

Distribution: Currently known throughout the Indo-Pacific: Red sea (Golani & Bogorodsky 2010) to Natal, South Africa (Randall 1986), Indonesia (Allen & Adrim 2003), the Seychelles (Randall & van Egmond 1994), Maldives (Randall & Anderson 1993), Oman (Randall 1995) and Sri Lanka (Rajasuriya 2013). In the present study, the specimens were collected from the Gulf of Mannar region, Tamil Nadu and the distribution range of this species is extended to mainland India for the first time.

Remarks: Originally described as a subspecies of A. melannurus (Randall 1972). A lineatus is easily confused with A. melannurus due to its colouration, which affected the distribution record of this species. The presence of A. lineatus in Lakshadweep and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands needs further clarification (Cabanban 2010). This species has been frequently collected from the Gulf of Mannar region for the domestic marine aquarium trade (Prakash et al. Unpublished data). As there is no species specific conservation measures related to this species, distribution records also overlaps with other coral reef areas. According to IUCN Red List of threatened species, A. lineatus was considered under the Data Deficient (DD) category (Cabanban 2010).







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