Butterfishes


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Butterfishes, white pomfrets or silver pomfrets are the members of the Stromateidae family. They are found in north and south America, western Africa, and Indo-Pacific oceans. Butterfishes are recognized by their deep body, small eye, silvery, pale or bluish body colour, no keels or scutes near caudal-fin base, and no pelvic fins.

Butterfishes are primarily coastal fishes found in depths shallower than 100 m. They usually form small schools or shoals over the muddy bottoms with coarse sands. They feed mainly on zooplankton, salps, ctenophores, jellyfishes, medusae and small benthic organisms.

There are 3 genera and about 16 species of Stromateidae worldwide. Malaysia has only one genus and 3 species.


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Scientific Name: Pampus argenteus  (Euphrasen, 1788)
English Name: Silver Pomfret, White Pomfret
French Name: Aileron argente
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 白鲳 (Bái chāng), 银鲳 (Yín chāng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bawal Putih, Duai Putih
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาจะละเม็ดขาว (Plā calamĕd k̄hāw)
Local Hokkien: Pek Cheoh
Local Cantonese: Pak Chong
Main Identification Features: Fine ridge-like patch of skin on top of head large, extending above pectoral-fin base. Caudal fin deeply forked often with the lower lobe extended.
Size: Maximum standard length about 60 cm, commonly to 30 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Benthopelagic, over sandy and muddy bottoms, to 80 m depth. Oceanodromous, migrate northward or southward according to the distribution of warm water currents thus, they migrate to the north during northern hemisphere summer and to the south in winter. Adults feed on ctenophores, salps, medusae, and other zooplankton groups.






Scientific Name: Pampus chinensis  (Euphrasen, 1788)
English Name: Chinese Silver Pomfret
French Name: Aileron chinois
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 斗鲳 (Dòu chāng), 斗底白鯧 (Dòu dǐ bái chāng), 斗底 (Dòu dǐ)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bawal Tambak, Duai Tambak
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาจะละเม็ดเทา (Plā calamĕd theā)
Local Hokkien: Tau Tae
Local Cantonese: Tau Taie Chong
Main Identification Features: Posterior margin of dorsal and anal fins not deeply indented. No blade-like spines before dorsal and anal fins. Caudal fin emargenate, not deeply forked and lobes are almost equal in length. Eye small.
Size: Maximum standard length about 40 cm, commonly to 20 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Benthopelagic and amphidromous, over sandy and muddy bottoms, less than 100 m depth. A surface feeder that feeds actively at night on copepods, ctenophores, medusae, decapods and other zooplankton.






Scientific Name: Pampus cinereus  (Bloch, 1795)
English Name: Grey Pomfret, Longfin Pomfret
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 白鲳 (Bái chāng), 灰鲳 (Huī chāng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bawal Tambak
Local Hokkien: Pek Cheoh
Local Cantonese: Pak Chong
Main Identification Features: Mouth subterminal; mouth slit curved downward posteriorly. Anterior rays of dorsal and anal fins produced distinct falcate lobes. Anal fin greatly extended and pectoral fin long, fan-like. Caudal fin deeply forked, the lower lobe usually longer than the upper lobe. Pectoral, anal, and caudal fins yellowish grey with dark margins posteriorly. Dorsal fin dark grey.
Habitat and Ecology: Benthopelagic, over sandy and muddy bottoms.
Remarks: Identification follow Liu J., Li C.S. & Ning P. (2013).





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