Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

Serranidae: Anthiadinae

Serranidae: Anthiadinae


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Subfamily Anthiadinae

Basslets, Seaperches

Compiler and date details

24 August 2021 - Douglass F. Hoese, Gerald R. Allen, Norbert J. Cross, Dianne J. Bray & Matthew M. Lockett

19 December 2018 - Gerald R. Allen, Douglass F. Hoese, Norbert J. Cross, Dianne J. Bray & Matthew M. Lockett

28 December 2011 - Gerald R. Allen, Douglass F. Hoese, Norbert J. Cross, Dianne J. Bray & Matthew M. Lockett

  • Anthiinae [invalid name].



Members of the subfamily Anthiadinae, usually known as basslets, are a diverse assemblage of fishes that some authors have recognised as a separate family. The name Anthiinae has typically been in use for this group, but recently shown not to be available and we follow van der Laan et al. (2018) in using the name Anthiadinae. The subfamily has a worldwide distribution in tropical, subtropical and temperate seas. Anderson (2018) recognised 29 genera and 226 species in the subfamily. Parenti & Randall (2020) recognised 29 genera and 231 species. In the Indo-Pacific region the group is represented by approximately 20 genera and over 170 species. In Australia and external territories, there are 18 genera and 86 described species inhabiting marine inshore waters and the continental shelf. A few species extend to the upper continental slope. Additional Australian material will include: an undescribed species of Caesioperca known from Cape Freycinet (34°04'S) to Rottnest Island (32°00'S), Western Australia; and a new species of Hypoplectrodes known from off New South Wales. We follow Nelson et al. (2016) and Anderson (2018) in including Acanthistius here rather than in the Serraninae. Craig & Hastings (2007) removed Acanthistius from the Serranidae.

Basslets live mainly on temperate rocky reefs and tropical coral reefs. They are carnivorous, with the larger benthic species feeding mainly on invertebrates and small fishes. Species of Pseudanthias, Caesioperca, Caprodon, Lepidoperca and Luzonichthys are frequently encountered in aggregations that feed on zooplankton high above the substratum. Sexual dichromatism, a harem social structure and sex-reversal are evident in most, if not all, of these five genera. The maximum total length is variable, ranging from 6–8 cm (in some Plectranthias) to about 75–80 cm.

There is no recent comprehensive review of the group, although Smith (1961) treated the western Indian Ocean species, Randall (1980) revised Plectranthias, Randall & McCosker (1992) revised Luzonichthys and Roberts (1989) revised Lepidoperca. Gill et al. (2021) revised Australian species of Plectranthias and Selenanthias. Allen & Starck (1982) provided diagnoses and illustrations of 17 species that occur on the Great Barrier Reef and Munro (1961) treated the majority of Australian temperate species. Many of the deep water species are treated by Katayama (1960). Relationships are discussed in Anderson et al. (1990) and Baldwin (1990) discussed relations within the subfamily. Anderson (2018) and Parenti & Randall (2020) presented checklists of the subfamily.


General References

Allen, G.R. & Starck, W.A. 1982. The anthiid fishes of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with the description of a new species. Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 9(2): 47-56 figs 1-28

Anderson, W.D. Jr, Parin, N.V. & Randall, J.E. 1990. A new genus and species of anthiine fish (Pisces: Serranidae) from the eastern South Pacific with comments on anthiine relationships. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 103(4): 922-930

Anderson, W.D. Jr. 2018. Annotated checklist of anthiadine fishes (Percoidei: Serranidae). Zootaxa 4475(1): 1-62

Baldwin, C.C. 1990. Morphology of the larvae of American Anthiinae (Teleostei: Serranidae), with comments on relationships within the subfamily. Copeia 1990(4): 913-955

Craig, M.T. & Hastings, P.A. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of the groupers of the subfamily Epinephelinae (Serranidae) with a revised classification of the Epinephelini. Ichthyological Research 54(1): 1-17

Gill, A.C., Pogonoski, J.J., Moore, G.I. & Johnson, J.W. 2021. Review of Australian species of Plectranthias Bleeker and Selenanthias Tanaka (Teleostei: Serranidae: Anthiadinae), with descriptions of four new species. Zootaxa 4918: 1-116

Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. 2006. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. [982]

Katayama, M. 1960. Fauna Japonica. Serranidae (Pisces). Tokyo : Biogeographical Society of Japan 189 pp. 86 pls.

McCulloch, A.R. 1913. Studies in Australian fishes, No. 3. Records of the Australian Museum 9(3): 355-389 figs 54-55 pls 12-20 [pl. 13]

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172 [published as separates 1956–1961]

Nelson, J.S., Grande, T.C. & Wilson, M.V.H. 2016. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons 5, 752 pp.

Parenti, P. & Randall, J.E. 2020. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the family Serranidae of the world with description of two new related families of fishes. FishTaxa [Journal of Fish Taxonomy] 15: 1-170

Randall, J.E. 1980. Revision of the fish genus Plectranthias (Serranidae : Anthiinae) with descriptions of 13 new species. Micronesica 16(1): 101-187 figs 1-32

Randall, J.E. & McCosker, J.E. 1992. Revision of the fish genus Luzonichthys (Perciformes: Serranidae: Anthiinae), with descriptions of two new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 21: 1-21 pls I-II

Roberts, C.D. 1989. A revision of New Zealand and Australian orange perches (Teleostei; Serranidae) previously referred to Lepidoperca pulchella (Waite) with description of a new species of Lepidoperca from New Zealand. Journal of Natural History 23(3): 557-589

Smith, J.L.B. 1961. Fishes of the family Anthiidae from the western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute, Grahamstown 21: 359-369 figs 1-5 pls 34-35

Van der Laan, R., Eschmeyer, W.N. & Fricke, R. 2018. Cumulative addenda to Family-group names in Recent Fishes of Van der Laan, R., Eschmeyer, W.N. & Fricke, R. (2014 ), Family–group names of Recent fishes. Catalog of Fishes Family Group Names. (Anthiinae considered not available)


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
03-Mar-2022 SERRANIDAE 19-Aug-2021 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (ABRS)
30-Sep-2019 SERRANIDAE 19-Dec-2018 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese Dr Matthew Lockett
03-Dec-2012 03-Dec-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)