Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Scatophagidae

Genus: Scatophagus

Species: S. argus

Physical Description

The Spotted Scat Scatophagus argus is an extremely attractive fish. Adults are silvery or greenish with dark blotches and markings. Small juveniles have alternating dark and whitish to yellowish bars and often reddish-orange patches on the head and along the back. It have 10-11 Dorsal spines wit 16-18  Dorsal soft rays, Also have 4 anal spines with 13-15 anal soft rays. Ground colour greenish. Juveniles with a few large roundish blotches, about size of eye, or with about 5 or 6 broad, dark, vertical bars. In large adults, spots may be faint and restricted to dorsal part of flanks. Body quadrangular, strongly compressed. Dorsal head profile steep. Eye moderately large, its diameter somewhat smaller than snout length. Snout rounded. Mouth small, horizontal, not protractile. Teeth villiform, in several rows on jaws.

Biology and Behavior

Argus Fish are peaceful schooling fish, and a mixed school of Scats and Monos can be kept with great success. But the Scats are more curious, independent, and outgoing than the Mono fish. They have very hearty appetites and will greedily eat anything that comes their way. It mainly feeds on worms, crustaceans, insects and plant matter. The dorsal, anal and pelvic spines are believed by Philippine fishers to be venomous and capable of inflicting wounds and it is also used in Chinese medicine.

Habitat and Distribution

It can be seen in marine and brackish and also in lower reaches of freshwater streams, frequently occurring among mangroves. Find in parts of Indo-Pacific: Kuwait to Fiji, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia. Reported from Samoa, Tonga and the Society Islands.