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Velvetchins


Velvetchins or barbeled grunters are common names for members of the Hapalogenyidae family. The family members are found in Pacific and Indian oceans. They have an elevated and compressed body with cluster of crowded papillae and barbels on and behind their chin. They have 11 dorsal spines and 3 anal spines.

The family has only one genus (Hapalogenys) with about 7 species worldwide. Two species of Hapalogenys are found in Malaysian water. Both are known to inhabit the coastal inshore waters near reefs. They feed on bottom invertebrates and small fishes. They are uncommon but sometimes can be caught by handline and fish trap.

Hapalogenys was formerly placed under the Haemulidae family. Some text suggested the genus to be placed under the Dinopercidae family and some under the Lobotidae family.



Scientific Name: Hapalogenys analis  Richardson, 1845
English Name: Broadbanded Velvetchin, Belted Barbeled Grunter
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 华髭鲷 (Huá zī diāo), 臀斑髭鲷 (Tún bān zī diāo)
Japanese Name | 和名: セトダイ (Setodai)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kaci Belang, Tebal Bibir
Main Identification Features: Lower lip fleshy with dense cluster of short papillae and barbels anteriorly. Dorsal fin with 11 spines, preceded by an antrorse spine under skin, and 15 or 16 soft rays. Anal fin with 3 spines, second spine long and strong, and 9 soft rays. Head and body with 5−7 alternating light and dark brown bands. Margin of soft dorsal, anal and caudal fins black.
Size: Maximum total length about 30 cm, commonly to 20 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal inshore waters near reefs, 20 to 100 m depth. Feeds on bottom invertebrates and small fishes.