The ichthyodiversity of the red sea: A unique extension of the Indian Ocean Biota

Menachem Goren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Red Sea presents a narrow extension of the Indian Ocean surrounded by deserts. Its ichthyofauna comprises 1264 species (July 2019) belonging to 155 families. The Gobiidae is the richest family, with 143 species, followed by the Labridae, Apogonidae, Serranidae, and Blenniidae, with over 45 species each. The number of endemic species is estimated as 13-14%. About two-thirds of the fishes are reef-associated species. The deep sea is poor in typical deep-sea species (ca. 3.4%) compared to other tropical seas, and most of its deep-sea fishes are actually shallow-water fish that have adapted to the depths. The proportion of low trophic species is similar to that in other tropical seas but significantly higher than in temperate and cold-water seas. Many of the Red Sea fish species are associated, directly or indirectly, with corals, sponges, and sea urchins. The Red Sea is an oligotrophic sea with low levels of nutrients that affect the potential for fishery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Arabian Seas
Subtitle of host publicationBiodiversity, Environmental Challenges and Conservation Measures
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783030515065
ISBN (Print)9783030515058
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • Ecology
  • Fishery
  • Ichthyodiversity
  • Red Sea


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