About This Fish


The grunter (Pomadasys kaakan) is a perch like ray finned fish which is also known as javelin fish, Javelin grunter, Common javelinfish, javelin grunt. It belongs to family Haemulidae under order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is distributed in Red Sea and east coast of Africa to Southeast Asia, north to Taiwan, south to Queensland, Australia. It inhabits turbid inshore waters with sandy to muddy bottoms. It also enters estuaries which can tolerate water with low salinity.

The grunter’s body is oblong and compressed with blunt head and its upper profile is slightly convex. Mouth is small with moderately thick lips. Body is covered with moderate ctenoid scales and lateral line is slightly arched. It is generally silvery with a golden tint on the sides and the upper operculum is olive-yellow while the snout is dusky and yellow. Juvenile has brilliant silvery green back, golden silver sides, silvery white belly and 12 or more faint vertical bars that comprise small dark brown spots or irregular blotches. Dorsal fin has 12 spines and 13-15 soft rays while anal fin has 3 spines with 7-8 soft rays. A deep notch is present between the spinous and the soft-rayed portion of the dorsal fin. Its food consists of crustaceans and fish. During winter months brood female forms shoals to spawn near river mouths. It grows up to 80 cm in length and over 5 kg in weight.

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