By Keiichi Matsuura

Scatophagus argus

Body greatly compressed, reaching to 32 cm. Dorsal profile of head steeply ascending to dorsal fin origin; snout rounded. Mouth small, terminal; jaws not protrusible; villiform teeth in several rows on jaws. Eye relatively large, its diameter slightly shorter than snout length. Dorsal fin with XI or XII spines and 16-18 soft rays; first dorsal fin spine procumbent; a deep notch between spinous and soft portions of dorsal fin. Anal fin with IV spines and 13-16 soft rays. Pectoral fin with 16 or 17 soft rays. Caudal fin rounded in juveniles, truncate or slightly emarginated in adults. Head and body covered with small cycloid scales. Color: head and body greenish or silvery with many black spots or bars.

Similar families occurring in the area. Chaetodontidae: lacking a deep notch between spinous and soft parts of dorsal fin; jaws protrusible. Drepanidae: anal fin with III spines; jaws protrusible; pectoral fins elongate, reaching beyond anal fin origin. Pomacanthidae: preopercle with a strong, backwardly pointed spine; no deep notch between spinous and soft parts of dorsal fin.

Remarks. Occurring in estuaries, harbors, and lower reaches of rivers. Marketed fresh but with small commercial importance.