Résumé: Assessing patterns of connectivity at the community and population levels is relevant to marine resource management and conservation. The present study reviews this issue with a focus on the western Indian Ocean (WIO) biogeographic province. This part of the Indian Ocean holds more species than expected from current models of global reef fish species richness. In this study, checklists of reef fish species were examined to determine levels of endemism in each of 10 biogeographic provinces of the Indian Ocean. Results showed that the number of endemic species was higher in the WIO than in any other region of the Indian Ocean. Endemic species from the WIO on the average had a larger body size than elsewhere in the tropical Indian Ocean. This suggests an effect of peripheral speciation, as previously documented in the Hawaiian reef fish fauna, relative to other sites in the tropical western Pacific. To explore evolutionary dynamics of species across biogeographic provinces and infer mechanisms of speciation, we present and compare the results of phylogeographic surveys based on compilations of published and unpublished mitochondrial DNA sequences for 19 Indo-Pacific reef-associated fishes (rainbow grouper Cephalopholis argus, scrawled butterflyfish Chaetodon meyeri, bluespot mullet Crenimugil sp. A, humbug damselfish Dascyllus abudafur/Dascyllus aruanus, areolate grouper Epinephelus areolatus, blacktip grouper Epinephelus fasciatus, honeycomb grouper Epinephelus merra, bluespotted cornetfish Fistularia commersonii, cleaner wrasse Labroides sp. 1, longface emperor Lethrinus sp. A, bluestripe snapper Lutjanus kasmira, unicornfishes Naso brevirosris, Naso unicornis and Naso vlamingii, blue-spotted maskray Neotrygon kuhlii, largescale mullet Planiliza macrolepis, common parrotfish Scarus psicattus, crescent grunter Terapon jarbua, whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus) and three coastal Indo-West Pacific invertebrates (blue seastar Linckia laevigata, spiny lobster Panulirus homarus, small giant clam Tridacna maxima). Heterogeneous and often unbalanced sampling design, paucity of data in a number of cases, and among-species discrepancy in phylogeographic structure precluded any generalization regarding phylogeographic patterns. Nevertheless, the WIO might have been a source of haplotypes in some cases and it also harboured an endemic clade in at least one case. The present survey also highlighted likely cryptic species. This may eventually affect the accuracy of the current checklists of species, which form the basis of some of the recent advances in Indo-West Pacific marine ecology and biogeography.