The Barred rubberlip (Plectorhinchus plagiodesmus) is also known as the Yellow Mouth Sweetlips. They are a species of grunt, closely related to the snappers. They have thick fleshy lips hence the name rubberlips or sweetlips. They may also grind their teeth together when caught, emitting a grunting sound. The Barred rubberlip is a not common fish on the east African coast.
Barred rubberlips have a grey body with thin reddish black bars running down the body. The fins are all grey colored. There are yellow lines on the front and back of the gill plate and their is a yellow patch on the face. They have large fleshy lips and when full grown the yellow upper lip is much larger than the white lower lip. They grow up to 90 cm and the images in the post are of full grown specimens. They are easy to distinguish because of their bright yellow lips.
BARRED RUBERLIPS IN THE WILD
The Barred Rubberlip are shy fish and during the day are usually seen in crevices or caves or under overhangs from about 12 meters down to 30 meters. They are seen in pairs or solitary. Full grown adults are usually in pairs and younger fish are often singular.
The Barred Rubberlip is found only in the western Indian ocean from Somalia south to South Africa including Madagascar.
The Barred Rubberlip are nocturnal feeders , feeding mainly on sand living crustaceans and worms. Prawns are on their eating list and they are thought to blow these out the sand with jets of water.
Very little is known of their breeding habits. They are thought to mate above the reef with the eggs dropping into the water table and drifting down onto the reef.
The Barred Rubberlips is reputed to be good eating and is occasionally netted by fishermen.
BARRED RUBERLIPS CLASSIFICATION
Species: P. plagiodesmus
- The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates: East and South Coasts of Southern Africa by Dennis King & Valda Fraser