Lavender Dottyback (species: Cypho purpurascens) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Cypho purpurascens
Lavender Dottyback

©Anne Hoggett: Male Cypho purpurascens at Lizard Island. Some males have one or two ocellated spots on the dorsal fin according to Allen et al (2003).

©Anne Hoggett: Female Cypho purpurascens at Mermaid Cove, Lizard Island. Note yellow patch on gill cover.

©Anne Hoggett: A female Cypho purpurascens upside down in a shallow cavern at Cod Hole, Ribbon Reef Number 10. Note yellow bar on gill cover. This photo identified through the hivemind of iNaturalist, 2 Dec 2018.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Pseudochromidae
Genus Cypho
Species Cypho purpurascens



Distinguishing features

Males are bright orange/red with blue scale edges that form oblique lines on the side. They may have one or two ocellated spots on the dorsal fin. Females grading from blue/grey on the head through red to orange/yellow posteriorly with oblique lines as for the male, and a yellow patch on gill cover (Allen et al, 2003).

The specimen from Cod Hole has vertical bars rather than oblique ones.


  • Up to 7.5 cm (Length (Allen et al, 2003))

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene (1990). Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Other references

  • Cortesi, F., Z. Musilová, S.M. Stieb, N.S. Hart, U.E. Siebeck, M. Malmstrøm, O.K. Tørresen, S. Jentoft, K.L. Cheney, N.J. Marshall, K.L. Carleton and W.Salzburger (2015). Ancestral duplications and highly dynamic opsin gene evolution in percomorph fishes, PNAS, 112(5): 1493-1498. LIRS catalog number 1816.
  • Holbrook, S.J., R.J. Schmitt, V. Messmer, A.J. Brooks, M. Srinivasan, P.L. Munday and G.P. Jones (2015). Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species, PLOS One, doi10.1371/journal.pone.0124054. LIRS catalog number 1915.
  • View all references