The species of the genus Pardachirus are unique among the fishes of the family Soleidae in having a prominent pore on nearly all of the dorsal, anal, and pelvic rays of both sides just distal to the basal scaled sheath. A powerful toxin is exuded from these pores when these soles are threatened, which serves as protection from predation; it may also aid in the capture of prey. The genus comprises the following seven species: P. balius Randall & Mee from Oman and Somalia; P. hedleyi Ogilby from Queensland and New South Wales; P. marmoratus Lacepède from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, east coast of Africa, and Mascarene Islands; P. morrowi (Chabanaud) from KwaZulu-Natal to Kenya, and Aldabra in the Seychelles; P. pavoninus (Lacepède) [P. persimilis (Günther) and P. ocellarus (Weed) are synonyms] from Sri Lanka to Tonga, and Japan to Queensland; P. poropterus (Bleeker) [P. rhepassii (Bleeker) is a synonym] from brackish habitats of the East Indies; and P. rautheri (Chabanaud), common in brackish areas of northern Australia, with one specimen from an estuary in New Guinea. Pardachirus rautheri was previously considered by most authors as a synonym of P. hedleyi or P. poropterus. A diagnosis of the genus Pardachirus, a key, and diagnoses and illustrations of the species are provided.
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