Blackflag sandperch
  • Parapercis signata
  • EnglishName: Blackflag sandperch
  • Local Name : Kalhu kothari alathandu
  • Size : Max. 13 cm
  • Family: PINGUIPEDIDAE
  • Order : Perciformes
  • Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 5 spines and 21 rays. Anal fin with 1 spine and 14-22 rays. Pelvic fins well separated.
  • Colour: Spinous portion black with a deep red margin. A series of 8 short dusky bars on back, six of which are linked to black spots basically in soft dorsal fin. A series of 9 broad orange bars on lower side.
  • Habitat and Biology: Common on lower reef slopes and sandy areas at depths of 30-35 m. Feeds on small shrimps and fishes.
  • Distribution: Maldives.
  • Remarks: Parapercis signata, is not commonly seen by divers due to its rather deep dwelling habit. Many species of Parapercis shows at least some colour difference with sex. The sandperches were previously recorded under the family Parapercidae or more often Mugiloididae (in old literature).