Redspot Emperor (species: Lethrinus lentjan) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Lethrinus lentjan
Redspot Emperor

©Andy Lewis: A pair of small adult Redspot Emperor at the Clam Gardens, Watsons Bay

©Anne Hoggett: Lethrinus lentjan at Cobia Hole, Lizard Island.

©Mark Shepherd: Redspot Emperor at Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Lethrinidae
Genus Lethrinus
Species Lethrinus lentjan



Distinguishing features

A medium sized silvery fish with a large eye and a small red spot on the operculum.


  • Up to 52 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Usually in schools along the edges of patch reefs adjacent to sandy lagoonal areas.

Can be found in most locations around the island.


This species is an active noctural feeder, and hunts for crustaceans and other invertebrates over the sandy lagoon floor and nearby reefs. Juveniles and small adults tend to form schools in shallow water, whereas the larger adults are solitary and found in deeper water. The Emperors are protogynous hermaphrodites, starting life as females and then changing sex to male at a larger size. Maximum age for this species is reported to be 19 years.

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

  • Arvedlund, M. and A. Takemura (2006). The importance of chemical environmental cues for juvenile Lethrinus nebulosus Forssk√•l (Lethrinidae, Teleostei) when settling into their first benthic habitat, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 338: 112-122. LIRS catalog number 90061.
  • View all references