Small to large-sized fishes. Body elongate, cylindrical anteriorly (except Prolatilus, having rather deeper body). Eye moderate. Snout slender. Teeth small, in band in jaws. Vomer with V-shaped tooth patch (teeth absent in Prolatilus). Palatine teeth present or absent. Gill membranes united, free from isthmus. Dorsal fin single, with IV-VII short spines and 19-27 soft rays. Anal fin with 17-25 rays, including I or II weak spines anteriorly. Caudal fin usually with 15 branched rays. Pelvic fin with I spine and 5 soft rays. Vertebrae 30-37. Several species of Parapercis have been shown to be protogynous hermaphrodites (thus females change to males). Color: variable (e.g., dark and pale brownish, and reddish), many species with distinct and characteristic markings; usually there is some change in the color pattern with the sex change in Parapercis.|
Similar family occurring in the area. Percophidae: 2 dorsal fins present.
Remarks. Seven genera are known from the world; only Parapercis is distributed in the Andaman Sea.