Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology Marine; brackish; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 68 m, usually 0 - 8 m. Tropical; 39°N - 28°S, 32°E - 154°W.
Distribution Countries Indo-Pacific: Pakistan and India to southern Japan, Hawaii, and the Society Islands. This name is used for maybe 10 distinct species in the Indo-Pacific.
International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04) and a minimum size of 10 cm applies.
Max length : 30.0 cm
Short description Morphology | Morphometrics Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-18; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 4.
Inhabit seagrass and marine algae areas of estuaries and seaward reefs; also on steep mud slopes. Found in open water and attached to drifting Sargassum up to 20 km from shore. Adults in pairs. Benthic to pelagic. Feeds on zooplankton.
Ovoviviparous. The males carry the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail. Not shown to be monogamous in the laboratory. There are 20 - 1000 larvae in incubating sacks; time of development is 20-28 days.
Very popular aquarium fish. Highly valued species in traditional Chinese medicine.
IUCN Red List Status Vulnerable (VU) (A2cd+3cd+4cd); Date assessed: 16 August 2012
CITESAppendix II: International trade monitored
CMS Not Evaluated
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial