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Threadfin Breams

(Nemipteridae)

Butterflyfishes & Coralfishes Goatfishes

There are around 70 species of threadfin breams, also known as false snappers. The bodies of threadfin breams are long, oval-shaped and are have large scales. They have small mouths and some species have a spine located below the eyes.

Threadfin breams are usually bright in colour, varying from silver and black to light and darker brown, at times marked by a yellow line. Some species may also have an extended filament on the upper tail fin lobe.

This family are often found over sand, rubble, anemone beds and close to coral. Most species prey on smaller fishes, cephalopods, crustaceans and bristle worms; however, a few species eat plankton.

Threadfin breams are commercially fished in many areas and are host to large numbers of parasites, however none are dangerous to humans.

5 species found on this page.

Two-Lined Monocle Bream

Scolopsis bilineata

Two-Lined Monocle Bream (Scolopsis bilineata) @ Koh Bida

Scolopsis bilineata @ Koh Bida

The two-lined monocle bream is commonly encountered over sandy and rubble areas at the edge of the reef.

The body is mostly white, with a dark grey streak running from the snout nearly to the rear of the dorsal fin. There are three whitish/yellowish stripes on the head and a white band with black edges runs from below the eye to the rear of the dorsal fin.

This bream grows to 25 cm, but is often observed smaller than this, either singly or in pairs.

The two-lined monocle bream diet includes small fishes and bottom-dwelling invertebrates.

Monogram Monocle Bream

Scolopsis monogramma

Monogram Monocle Bream (Scolopsis monogramma) @ Koh Haa

Scolopsis monogramma @ Koh Haa

The monogram monocle bream has a pale body, whitish or grey, with a sky blue and yellow band which runs above and between the eyes.

The dorsal fin is yellow, with a sky blue tinge on the body running alongside the dorsal fin.

The tail fin is yellow and there is a dusky stripe along the middle part of the body.

The monogram monocle bream is usually found along the reef edge, on sandy or rubble bottoms and can grow to 26 cm, but is usually observed much smaller than this, typically 10 - 15 cm.

The diet of this species includes small fish, crustaceans, molluscs and bristle-worms.

Pearly Monocle Bream

Scolopsis margaritifer

Pearly Monocle Bream (Scolopsis margaritifer) @ Koh Bida

Scolopsis margaritifer @ Koh Bida

The pearly monocle bream has a pearly/olive upper body colour, and a generally whitish lower body colour.

The upper lobe of the tail fin is yellowish, and the lower lobe is reddish. The pelvic fins base is yellow, as is the pectoral and anal fins. The Indian variation has different colouration from the Pacific variation.

The dorsal fin has 10 spines and 9 soft rays and grows to 25 cm, though is usually observed smaller than this, often 10 - 15 cm.

As with the other breams, this species frequents the sandy and rubble areas around the edge of the reef.

Whitecheek Monocle Bream

Scolopsis torquatus

Whitecheek Monocle Bream (Scolopsis torquatus) @ Koh Bida

Scolopsis torquatus @ Koh Bida

The whitecheek monocle bream has a deeper body than many of the other species in this family (less compressed, wider). The body is a deep reddish to purple/brownish colour and the scales have slightly darker centers.

This species has a broad white bar on the head, behind the eye. The snout may be more lightly coloured, with lighter/pale lips.

This species grows to 25 cm, and as with other monocle breams, the whitecheek monocle bream is also usually found over sand and rubble, solitary or in small groups.

Whitestreak Monocle Bream

Scolopsis ciliatus

Whitestreak Monocle Bream (Scolopsis ciliatus) @ Koh Haa

Scolopsis ciliatus @ Koh Haa

The whitestreak monocle bream has a pale grey body with between two and four rows of yellowish or slightly orange spots running length-ways along the side.

The name of this species derives from the bright white streak below the dorsal fin.

The whitestreak monocle bream grows to 25 cm, but usually observed smaller than this.

Can be found singly, or in small groups over soft coral and anemone beds, sandy and rubble areas close to the reef.

Find Out More: Marine Life References and Further Information

Diving with Threadfin Breams

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