Pardachirus marmoratus

Pardachirus marmoratus
Finless sole
Finless sole, Pardachirus marmoratus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Pleuronectiformes
Family: Soleidae
Genus: Pardachirus
Species: P. marmoratus
Binomial name
Pardachirus marmoratus

Pardachirus marmoratus, also known as the finless sole or the Red Sea Moses sole is a small fish from the Red Sea that secretes an ichthyotoxic milky substance from the base of its dorsal and anal fins. This secretion contains pardaxin, a lipophillic peptide that causes severe plasma membrane disruption resulting in cell leakage. The pardaxin containing secretion is used as a defensive mechanism against predators including sharks. Pardaxin is irritating to predator fish, particularly affecting the sensitive gills. Dr. Eugenie Clark conducted much of the early work on Pardachirus marmoratus.

There is much biotechnological interest in pardaxin, early interest focused on potential shark repellent applications while newer research foucuses on antimicrobial and neurotoxic potential of pardaxin and its analogues.

There is a myth that while Moses was splitting the Red Sea, this poor fish was caught in the middle and was split in half.