Yellowlip Emperor (species: Lethrinus xanthochilus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Lethrinus xanthochilus
Yellowlip Emperor

©Robyn: Lethrinus xanthochilus at Cod Hole, Ribbon Reef 10, near Lizard Island.

©Robyn: Lethrinus xanthochilus showing blotched colour pattern at Cod Hole, Ribbon Reef 10, near Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Lethrinidae
Genus Lethrinus
Species Lethrinus xanthochilus



Distinguishing features

Yellow upper lip, red spot at base of pectoral fin and a relatively long and pointed snout. Fins may be yellowish. Body can change colour rapidly from uniformly pale grey/silver to a blotched pattern.


  • Up to 70 cm (fork length according to Fishes of Australia website accessed 17 Sep 2022)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.
  • 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

  • Wilson, D.T. and M.I. McCormick (1999). Microstructure of settlement-marks in the otoliths of tropical reef fishes, Marine Biology, 134: 29-41. LIRS catalog number 596.