Aquaculture Feed and Fertilizer Resources Information System

Mandarin fish - Siniperca chuatsi

(Basilewsky, 1855) [Percichthyidae]

Taxonomic and biological features:

The mandarin fish is characterized by a protruding anterior end and a body that is strongly laterally compressed (Figure 1). The mouth is large, long, slants ventrally on both sides of the head and is equipped with saw-like teeth. The jaws are pointed. The lower jaw has 45 large and sharp rays; the rear edge of the gill cover has 2 flat, sharp spines on each side. The body colour is brownish yellow. On the lateral sides of the body, there are irregular dark-brown blotches and spots. On each side of the head, a black stripe runs from the jaws posteriorly across the eyes to the level of the first three rays of the dorsal fin. At the level of the sixth to seventh dorsal ray, there is a distinct vertical black stripe that runs ventrally towards the abdomen, ending at the base of the pectoral fin. All the fins have round tips and are covered with dark brown spots densely connected in striped lines. Anteriorly, the abdominal and anal fins are each armed with three sharp spines. The scales are small and round.

Figure 1. Mandarin fish (Siniperca chuatsi) (photo by the author)