Lethrinus atlanticus Valenciennes, 1830
Atlantic emperor
photo by Wirtz, P.

Family:  Lethrinidae (Emperors or scavengers), subfamily: Lethrininae
Max. size:  50 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 50 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Eastern Central Atlantic: Senegal to Gabon; also Cape Verde, São Tome-Principe Islands, and Rolas Islands. There is little doubt that only a single species of Lethrinus exists in the tropical western Atlantic.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 10-10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-9; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-8. The outer surface of the maxilla is smooth, without a knob or pronounced longitudinal ridge. Inner surface of the pectoral fin axil without scales. Overall color is olive green or brown and pinkish. The cheeks have a network of fine reticulations below the eye.
Biology:  Found in shallow coastal waters (Ref. 2263). Feeds mainly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Marketed fresh (Ref. 171), smoked and dried salted (Ref. 2295). Abundant during the winter months (Ref. 2683).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 13 May 2013 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 10.11.90
Modified by: Casal, Christine Marie V. - 04.07.00
Checked by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 30.06.93

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