Ambassis gymnocephalus   (Lacepede,  1802) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Hermosa, Jr., GV

Size: 7-16 cm.

Color: In alcohol specimens yellowish brown, with silvery reflections on sides of head and body. A dark stripe in median line of tail, not always distinct. A black spot posteriorly on finmembrane between second and third and third and fourth dorsal spine. Tips of caudal and base of pectorals sometimes dusky.

Body elongate and compressed laterally. Height 2.8-3.3, 3.7-4.4 in length with caudal. Head 2.6-3.2, 3.6-4.3 in length with caudal. Eye 2.3-3. Snout about two thirds of eye and somewhat more than inter-orbital space. Mouth much oblique. Chin prominent. Maxillary reaching to below front border of eye or nearly so, its posterior end obliquely truncated. Villiform teeth in jaws, on vomer and palatines. Teeth on tongue. Praeorbital with blunt serrations. Inferior border of praeoperculum and of praeopercular ridge serrated, interoperculum smooth, its posterior angle pointed. Orbital rim rough. Supraorbital ridge with three to four spines in its posterior part. Two rows of scales on cheeks. Dorsal separated by 14-16 scales from occiput. First dorsal spine small, second one equal to head without snout or some what longer, eighth spine shorter than snout and eye. Fin-membrane attached to eighth spine near base, the dorsal fin thus almost divided. Third anal spine longer than second one, equal to snout and eye. Pectorals longer than ventrals, which are equal to head without snout. Caudal deeply forked. Lateral line interrupted below eighth dorsal spine, beginning again in median line of tail, often only one unperforated scale between the two parts, very seldom the lateral line is continuous, with a bent down where it is usually interrupted, sometimes the second part of the lateral line on tail is imperfectly developed. Least height of caudal peduncle about 1.5 in its length and equal to postorbital part of head.
Dorsal spines (total): 7-8, Dorsal soft rays (total): 8-10, Anal spines: 3, Anal soft rays: 8-10
Breeds in rainy season.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Ambassis ambassis (non Lacepede, 1802)
(Misapplied name)
Ambassis commersonii non Cuvier, 1828
(Misapplied name)
Ambassis dussumieri non Cuvier 1828
(Misapplied name)
Ambassis gymnocephalus (Lacepede, 1802)
(Senior synonym)
Ambassis productus (non Guichenot, 1866)
(Misapplied name)
Apogon commersonii (non Cuvier, 1828)
(Misapplied name)
Apogon roseus Fischer, 1885
(Junior synonym)
Chanda gymnocephalus (Lacepede, 1802)
(Senior synonym)
Lutjanus gymnocephalus Lacepede, 1802
(Senior synonym)
Sardinella fimbriata non Valenciennes, 1847
(Misapplied name)
Ambassis denticulata Klunzinger, 1870
(Junior synonym)
Ambassis dussumierii (non Cuvier, 1828)
(Misapplied name)
Ambassis dussumieri Quoy and Gaimard, 1834
Priopis argyrozona Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1830
Ambassis dussumieri Bleeker, 1849
Chanda dussumieri Cantor, 1850
Ambassis dussumieri Gunther, 1859
Ambassis dussumieri Kner, 1867
Ambassis vachelli Peters, 1868
Ambassis gymnocephalus Bleeker, 1877
Ambassis gymnocephalus Day, 1878
Ambassis dussumieri Klunzinger, 1880
Ambassis gymnocephalus Steindachner, 1902
Ambassis gymnocephalus Fowler, 1905
Priopis gymnocephalus Jordan and Seale, 1905
Priopis gymnocephalus Seale, 1910
Ambassis dussumieri de Beaufort, 1913
Priopis gymnocephalus Chaudhuri, 1923
Ambassis gymnocephalus Barnard, 1927

Common Name (s)
• Bald Glassy Perchlet (English)
• Naked Head Glassy Perchlet (English)
• Mullu Tharu (Telugu)
• Chandee (Oriya)
• Nanthan (Malayalam)
• Aringil (Malayalam)
• Bald Glassy (English)
• Naked-head Glassy Perchlet
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Marketed dried and salted)
Cultured:  Unknown

Habitat:  Demersal, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Benthic crustaceans, bony fish, fish eggs/larvae, copepods such as Centropages, Pseudodiaptomus, Eucalanus, Acartia and Oithona; Oithona. Polychaetes (chiefly Prionospio pinnata), cladocerans, Decapods, Cirripede larva, Diatoms, Sagitta, Hippa, amphipods, larval bivalves, fish post-larvse and fish scales


• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary (Lat: 20.32) (Long: 86.75) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram Mangrove Forest (Lat: 11.03) (Long: 79.78) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• East Coast, Coromandel, Pulicat Lake INDIA (Record: 1997-1998)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala, Ponnani Estuary INDIA (Record: 03/1997-02/1999)
• Orissa, Chilika INDIA
• Kerala, Ayiramthengu INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Kerala, Calicut INDIA
• Karnataka, Mangalore INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Kerala, Off Calicut INDIA (Record: 1948-1953) (Depth: 3.65-14.63 mts)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Rama Rao, KV (1995) Pisces Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 483-506 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds.) (1998) Fauna Of Mahanadi estuary, Orissa Estuarine ecosystem series no 3 ZSI, Kolkata 1-218 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • (2001) Fauna of Godavari estuary, Andhra Pradesh Estuarine ecosystem series 4 ZSI, Kolkata 1-166 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Tikader, BK and Das, AK (1985) Glimpses of animal life of Andaman and Nicobar Islands ZSI, Kolkata 1-170 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Balasubramanian, T Lagoons of India Environmental Information System Centre, Envis Publication Series: 3/2001 105 pp Available at -
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • Nagabhushanam, AK and Krishnan, S (1993) Observations on the distribution of some of the marine organism inhabiting the inter-tidal zone along the western continental shelf of the Bay of Bengal, with particular reference to the Tamil Nadu coastal strip Records of the Zoological Survey of India 93(3-4) 449-490 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Raj, PJS, Tilak, JL and Kalaimani, G (2002) Experiments in restoration of benthic biodiversity in Pulicat Lake, south India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 44(1 & 2) 37-45 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1929) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago E. J. Brill Ltd. 5 458 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Bijukumar, A and Sushama, S (2000) Ichthyofauna of Ponnani estuary, Kerala Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 42(1&2) 182-189 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Satapathy, D and Panda, S (2009) Fish atlas of Chilika Chilika Development Authority, Bhubaneswar 74 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Balasubramanian, T and Ajmal, SK(Eds by) (2004) Checklist of fish fauna of Ayiramthengu mangroves,Kollam district, Kerala, India Seshaiyana 12(2) Available at -
  • Raj, PJS (2006) Macro fauna of Pulicat lake NBA bulletin No.6 NBA Available at -
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 Available at -
  • Venkataraman, G (1960) Studies on the food and feeding relationships of the inshore fishes off Calicut on the Malabar coast Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Council of Agricultural Research 7 (2) 275-306 Available at -
  • Nair, PVR; Luther, G and Adolph, C (1965) An ecological study of some pools near Mandapam (South India) formed as a result of the cyclone and tidal wave of 1964 Journal of the marine biological associaiton of India The marine biological association of India 7(2) 420-439 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Das, AK and Roy, MKD (1989) A general account of the mangrove fauna of Andaman and Nicobar islands Fauna of conservation areas Zoological survey of India 1-152 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-10

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