Species 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).
Whiptails or Pentapodus are distinguished by having 2 to 3 pairs of small canines teeth anteriorly in upper jaw, a single pair of larger, flared canines teeth anteriorly on either side of lower jaw. Their body depth are 3 to 3.5 times in standard length. There are approximately 7 species of Whiptails found in Malaysian waters.