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The sandperches are a family, Pinguipedidae, of fishes in the percomorph order Trachiniformes. Sandperches are benthic fish which normally occur over sand or rubble substrates in shallow seas. They are found off the coasts of South America, South Africa and in the Indo-Pacific as far east as Japan. The family contains a few species which are used by humans for food.

Parapercis hexophtalma 1.jpg
Speckled sandperch, Parapercis hexophtalma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Trachiniformes
Family: Pinguipedidae
Günther, 1860

See text




Some sandperches resemble wrasse in that they possess long dorsal and anal fins which may have a few spines and enlarged lips that appear to curl back with big canine teeth in the front of the jaws. They have elongated bodies which are flattened posteriorly and cylindrical towards the head. The body usually patterned with spots and bands, The eyes are positioned near top of head. They are relatively small in size, normally 60–90 centimetres (24–35 in) in length. These fish tend to sit on the sea bed, their bodies propped up by the widely separated pelvic fins. Some of the members of the speciose genus Parapercis, maybe all of them, are sequential hermaphrodites, all being female at sexual maturity and later changing into males which frequently have significantly different colourings and markings.[2][3]


The family Pinguipedidae contains seven genera with a total of 65 species. The genera are:[1]




  • Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Pinguipedidae" in FishBase. January 2006 version.
  • "Pinguipedidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 26 March 2006.
  1. ^ a b Bailly N, ed. (2015). "Pinguipedidae Günther, 1860". FishBase. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  2. ^ Randall, John E. (1995). Coastal Fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-0-8248-1808-1.
  3. ^ "Perciform Fish Form and Function". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  4. ^ Imamura & Yoshino (2007). "Ryukyupercis, a new genus of pinguipedid fish for the species Parapercis gushikeni (Teleostei: Perciformes) based on the phylogenetic relationships of the family". Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Suppl 14: 94ff.