Perchlets (Glassfishes)
By Koichi Shibukawa

Ambassis gymnocephalus

Ambassis interruptus

Ambassis macracanthus

Ambassis nalua

Ambassis urotaenia

Ambassis vachellii

Small to moderate sized (up to 12 cm), oblong and compressed fishes. Lateral line continuous or interrupted at midway. Head compressed; eyes large; lower jaw subequal or projecting beyond upper jaw; spines or serrations on various parts of head (e.g., round of eye, snout, and margins of preopercle and interopercle); no opercular spine; villiform teeth on jaws and roof of buccal cavity; branchiostegals 6. Dorsal fin single, deeply notched before last spine, with VII or VIII spines and 7-11 soft rays; anal fin with III spines and 8-11 soft rays; pectoral fin with 11-17 soft rays; pelvic fin I, 5; caudal fin forked. Scales cycloid, moderately large and thin, and usually easy to be deciduous. Vertebratae 24-25. Color: subtranslucent or opaque, with silvery head and belly; fins hyaline, usually with black streaks and/or blotches on dorsal and caudal fins, tinged with yellow in some species.

Similar families occurring in the area. Apogonidae: two separate dorsal fins; II anal-fin spines.

Remarks. Found in freshwaters, brackish estuaries, mangroves, and shallow coastal water; usually forming aggregations, and feed on small crustaceans, insects, and fishes. Minor importance in fisheries, often marketed as dried and salted; some freshwater species treated as popular aquarium fish.