The medium-sized emperor from the Lethrinidae dynasty is your typical middle-of-the road Red Sea fish. Their robust bodies are equipped with oversized scales and a high-set ocular system. Some species can rapidly change their colour. There are eleven species of the Lethrinidae dynasty in the Red Sea.

The medium-sized Red Sea emperorfish has prominent lips, as if it has been permanently swimming against forceful currents... The emperor is not territorial and is a friend of a friend of a friend as in gregarious. The emperor fish is a very sociable fish, circulating in sometimes pretty large schools. The emperor fish is your typical nocturnal hunter, eager to consume invertebrates, crustaceans and smaller fish.

The Bedouin call the emperor ‘shaur’.

Family Members

Bigeye Emperor

Size up to 60cm  (1,96ft). Depth up to 100m  (328 ft)

The bigeye emperor with its oval body and frontal profile is a common feature in the vicinity of lagoons, bays and seaward reefs. It’s tale is strongly forked. It takes on a marauding mode after sunset, successfully making life of hard-shelled invertebrates miserable. Its body has a silver hue, completed by a light blue and yellowish sheen. It has the capacity to change coloration and take on vertical bars to fool opponents. Its eyes are pretty well developed. They are hermaphroditic and protogynous, meaning that the female can turn into male. The adults form schools.

Spangled Emperor

Size up to 80cm (2,62 ft). Depth up to 75m (246ft)

Its head is typified by soft blue accents, the head itself being slightly concave. The spangled emperor, also called the blue scale emperor,  has a flattened and robust body with a silvery hue and sky blue accents. the pattern conjuring up visions of a chain mail.  It houses in lagoons, seaward reefs and sheltered bays. You will see it hovering over large beds of seagrass and stalling near mangrove swamps. This solitary species, active during both night and day, finds fish and hard-shelled invertebrates particularly palatable. Although usually wary, they can be approachable.

Other Family Members

Black-Spot Emperor

Mahsena Emperor

Orange-Stripe Emperor

Smalltooth Emperor

Snubnose Emperor

Yellowlip Emperor