White-Barred Rubberlips

Plectorhinchus playfairi

This large reef species is found in the Western Indian Ocean, from South Africa in the south to Oman and the Red Sea in the north. White-barred rubberlips are usually solitary – except during mating season, when they form distinct pairs.

White-barred Rubberlips

They have been recorded at depths of up to 80 metres and are named for their prominent, rubber-like lips. The skin around their lips and pectoral fins is pale pink in colour, while the rest of their elongated, oval-shaped bodies are black or charcoal grey. White-barred rubberlips are easily distinguished by their markings, consisting of four vertical white bars spanning the length of their body. They can grow up to 90 centimetres, and are targeted by commercial and recreational fishermen.

Dusky Rubberlips

Plectorhinchus chubbi

The dusky rubberlips is native to the Indo-West Pacific. Along the African coast, it is found from Somalia in the north to Port Alfred, South Africa in the south. It is a relatively large reef-dwelling species, growing up to 75

centimetres in length. Dusky rubberlips are often seen in small schools, and form distinct pairs during breeding season. They lay eggs, and use shallow weedy areas as juvenile nurseries. Like all rubberlips species, they have a high, domed forehead and an elongated shape. Adult dusky rubberlips are silvery bronze in colour, with several small white spots. They are targeted by commercial and recreational fishermen, and have yet to be classified by the IUCN Red List. Although thought to be common, they are a shy species and therefore infrequently seen.

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