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Teraponidae
(alternative spelling Theraponidae)

by A. Ben-Tuvia

Small- to moderate-sized fishes (seldom exceeding 300 mm), with an oblong body, moderately compressed. Operculum with 2 spines, lower usually longer and stronger; preoperculum serrate. Dorsal fin with 11-14 spines and 8-14 rays, often with a notch between spiny and soft portions; anal fin with 3 spines and 7-12 rays; pelvic fins with 1 spine and 5 rays. Scales small or moderate, finely ctenoid. Lateral line single and complete. Swimbladder divided into two chambers by transverse constriction; extrinsic swimbladder muscle present.
Mostly in shallow tropical and subtropical waters on sandy and muddy bottoms in depths from intertidal to 100 m. Euryhaline often in brackish waters and hypersaline lagoons. Feeding mostly on bottom-living invertebrates and small fish. Eggs and larvae pelagic. Caught in some numbers by trawl, gill-net, trammel-net and traps.

Genera 15, all Indo-Pacific; in Clofnam area 2.

Recent revision: Vari (1978).

Terapon perches (Family Teraponidae)