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Emperors (Pigface Bream)

Emperors or sometimes called the scavengers are found mainly in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are excellent food fish.

Emperors are bottom-feeding carnivores consuming invertebrates and small fishes. Some species have molariform teeth which they use to eat invertebrates such as molluscs and crabs. Emperors can be solitary or schooling and do not appear to be territorial. They often form large aggregations for pelagic spawning. They have large eyes that enable them to feed at night.

There are about 41 species of emperors that make up the Lethrinidae family worldwide. Malaysia is represented by all 5 genera and about 29 species.

This page shows only the Letrinus genus which is also called the Pigface Bream. The Letrinus have a scale-less check which distinguish them from other Lethrinidae. The other genera in Lethrinidae family is shown as Large-eye Bream.



Scientific Name: Lethrinus lentjan  (Lacepède, 1802)
English Name: Pink Ear Emperor, Bridled Pigface Bream
French Name:  Empereur Lentilles
Mandarin Name: 龙占 (Lóng zhàn), 乌帽龙占 (Wū mào lóng zhàn), 紅鰽痣 (Hóng qiú zhì)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pelandok, Landuk, Mempinang, Ketambak, Asuh, Landok Calit Merah
Local Hokkien: Leng Jiam
Main Diagnostic Features: Red blotches on edge of operculum and base of pectoral fin base.
Size: Maximum size about 50 cm total length; commonly to around 30 cm.

Pink Ear Emperor or Lethrinus lentjan

Bridled Pigface Bream or Lethrinus lentjan




Scientific Name: Lethrinus nebulosus   (Forsskål, 1775)
English Name: Spangled Emperor
Mandarin Name: 龙占 (Lóng zhàn), 青嘴龙占 (Qīng zuǐ lóng zhàn)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pelandok, Landuk, Mempinang, Ketambak, Asuh, Landok Sisik Bintik
Main Diagnostic Features: Many scales centres with a white or light blue spot.
Size: Maximum total length about 80 cm; commonly between 20 and 50 cm.

Spangled Emperor or Lethrinus nebulosus




Scientific Name: Lethrinus ornatus   Valenciennes, 1830
English Name: Ornate Emperor
French Name: Empereur Orn
Mandarin Name: 龙占 (Lóng zhàn), 黄带龙占 (Huáng dài lóng zhàn)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pelandok, Landuk, Mempinang, Ketambak, Asuh, Landok Jalur Jingga
Main Diagnostic Features: Posterior edge of opercle and preopercle are bright red in colour.
Size: Maximum total length 40 cm.

Ornate Emperor

Lethrinus ornatus




Scientific Name: Lethrinus variegatus  Valenciennes, 1830
French Name:  Empereur Bas Cou
English Name: Slender Emperor, Variegated Emperor
Mandarin Name: 龙占 (Lóng zhàn), 杂色龙占 (Zá sè lóng zhàn), 杂色裸颊鲷 (Zá sè luǒ jiá diāo)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pelandok, Landuk, Mempinang, Ketambak, Asuh, Landok Lampai
Size: Maximum total length about 20 cm.

Slender Emperor or Lethrinus variegatus

Variegated Emperor