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Based on differences in adult coloration, behavior, and morphometric and meristic features, the endemic Malagasy kuhlid Kuhlia sauvagiiRegan, 1913, is resurrected from synonymy with the Indo-Pacific Kuhlia rupestris (Lacépéde, 1802). Both species are redescribed, and a summary of their distribution, natural history, and conservation status on Madagascar is provided. No type specimens for Centropomus rupestris Lacépéde, 1802 (type locality, Réunion), are known, and considerable confusion persists in the literature regarding the taxonomic composition and limits of this purportedly widespread species. We designate as neotype for Centropomus rupestris a syntype of Dules fuscus Cuvier in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829, thereby unambiguously relating this taxon to material collected from the type locality of Lacépéde's Centropomus rupestris, the island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean.