Pteragogus cryptus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Pteragogus cryptus
Species Authority: Randall, 1981
Common Name(s):
English Cryptic wrasse, Indian sneaky wrasse, Sneaky wrasse
Pterogogus cryptus Randall, 1981

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-03-25
Assessor(s): Sadovy, Y.
Reviewer(s): Craig, M.T. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is wide-ranging and there are no known major threats. It is a small and cryptic species and is found in a number of marine protected areas in parts of its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is found from the Red Sea to the east Andaman Sea, and eastwards to Tonga, north to Japan and south to Lord Howe Island (east Australia).
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; Guam; Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Tonga; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 67
Upper depth limit (metres): 4
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species was recorded in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, with a mean density of 1.6 individuals from twenty 50 m X 5 m transects in underwater fish visual surveys (Yusuf et al. 2002).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is secretive and cryptic occurring on coral reefs where it hides among soft corals and benthic algae (Whiteman and Côté 2004). It inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs at depths 4-67 m (Myers 1999). It likes rich soft or hard coral growth or scattered algae and stays well hidden.

This species is a pair spawner (Donaldson 1995). At spawning both male and female assume a dark brown colour pattern without the normal white markings. It is monogamous. It feeds on benthic invertebrates (Whiteman and Côté 2004).

The largest recorded size was 9.5 cm TL (Randall et al. 1990). Mature females were recorded at 36 mm and males at 45 mm.
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is rare in the aquarium trade. It is not known if it is utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. However, its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.7. Marine Neritic - Macroalgal/Kelp
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Unknown
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Donaldson, T.J. 1995. Courtship and spawning of nine species of wrasses (Labridae) from the western Pacific. Japanese Journal Ichthyology 42(3/4): 311-319.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian reef fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam.

Randall, J.E. 1981. Two new species and six new records of labrid fishes from the Red Sea. Senckenbergiana Maritima 13: 79-109.

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

Wang, S.-C., Chen, J.-P. and Shao, K.-T. 1994. Four new records of labrid fishes (Pisces: Labridae) from Taiwan. Acta Zoologica Taiwanica 5(1): 41-45.

Whiteman, E.A. and Côté, I.M. 2004. Monogamy in marine fishes. Biological Reviews 79: 351-375.

Wood, L.J. 2007. MPA Global: A database of the world’s marine protected areas. Available at:

Yusuf, Y., Ali, A.B. and Mohd. Ibrahim, H.M. 2002. Coral reef fish of Pulau Payar and Pulau Perhentian. Proceedings of the Fourth Regional IMT-GT Uninet Conference 2002: 427-431. Penang, Malaysia.

Citation: Sadovy, Y. 2010. Pteragogus cryptus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187431A8533784. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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