Breams (Monocle)


Members of the Nemipteridae family are found mainly in tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific. They are distinguished by having a single continuous dorsal fin, with 10 spines and 9 soft rays, and anal fin with 3 spines and 7 to 8 soft rays. Their color are extremely variable, but often pinkish or reddish with red, yellow or blue markings.

Nemipterids are carnivorous bottom-living fishes feeding mainly on other small fishes, cephalopods, crustaceans, and polychaetes. They can be solitary or schooling and do not appear to be territorial.

Worldwide, there are 5 genera and about 66 species. The 5 genera are Nemipterus (Threadfin Breams), Parascolopsis (Dwarf Monocle Breams), Pentapodus (Whiptails), Scaevius (Coral Breams) and Scolopsis (Monocle Breams).

Monocle Breams or Scolopsis are distinguished by the a large backwardly pointing spine and a series of smaller spines at the suborbital beneath the eye. There are approximately 13 species of Monocle Breams found in Malaysia.


Scientific Name: Scolopsis margaritifera  (Cuvier, 1830)
English Name: Pearly Monocle Bream
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pasir, Pasir-pasir Mutiara
Local Hokkien: Tua Bak Kor
Main Diagnostic Features: Head scales reaching to or almost to posterior nostrils. 2 pearly white stripes on snout in front of eyes.
Size: Maximum standard length 17.5 cm, commonly to 15 cm.

Scientific Name: Scolopsis monogramma  (Cuvier, 1830)
English Name: Rainbow Monocle Bream, Monogrammed Monocle Bream
French Name: Scolopsis masqué
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pasir, Pasir-pasir Jalur Gelap
Local Hokkien: Tua Bak Kor
Main Diagnostic Features: Head scales reaching to between anterior margin of eyes and posterior nostrils. A blue chevron-shaped stripe running upwards from below eye onto opercle and bending downward towards pectoral-fin base. 3 bluish stripes on snout with the uppermost joining eyes above nostrils, the middle stripe joining eyes through nostrils and lower stripe from eye to tip of snout.
Size: Maximum standard length 26 cm, common standard length 18 cm.

Scientific Name: Scolopsis taenioptera  (Cuvier, 1830)
English Name: Latice Monocle Bream
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 红哥里 (Hóng gē lǐ)
Local Malay Name: Kerisi Pasir, Pasir-pasir Mentimun
Local Hokkien: Ang Goh Li
Local Teochew: Ang Nee
Main Diagnostic Features: A reddish-orange spot present on the upper part of pectoral fin base.
Size: Maximum standard length 30.0 cm, common standard length 15.0 cm.

Latice Monocle Bream

Scientific Name: Scolopsis vosmeri  (Bloch, 1792)
English Name: Whitecheek Monocle Bream
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 白头库 (Bái tóu kù)
Local Malay Name: Puyu Laut, Pasir-pasir Pipi Putih
Local Hokkien: Peh Tao Kor, Thik Kak Chia
Main Diagnostic Features: A broad white vertical bar from top of head onto opercle.
Size: Maximum total length 25.0 cm, common standard length 15.0 cm.

Whitecheek Monocle Bream