Pearl Spot fish, scientifically known as Etroplus suratensis, is a popular brackish water fish species found in the Indian subcontinent. It is an important fish species in the marine ecosystem and has been traditionally reared in brackish water ponds and backwaters. This fish is also commonly known as Karimeen in the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Scientific NameEtroplus suratensis
ColourSilver with black spots
Found in which coastal waters of IndiaFound in brackish waters of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu
States its eaten as foodEaten as a delicacy in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh
IUCN statusLeast Concern


The Pearlspot fish is a medium-sized fish, measuring up to 20-25 cm in length and weighing between 200-400 grams. The fish is characterized by its oval-shaped, flattened body with a silver-grey color and dark speckles on the scales. The eyes are large and yellowish in color. The dorsal fin is long and continuous, while the anal fin is shorter and rounded.


Pearlspot fish is found in the brackish water habitats of estuaries, lagoons, and backwaters. They can also be found in freshwater habitats like rivers and lakes, as well as marine habitats like the sea. This fish species prefers shallow waters with dense vegetation and muddy or sandy bottoms.


The Pearlspot fish is an omnivore, feeding on both animal and plant matter. They feed on small fishes, insects, and crustaceans as well as algae, aquatic plants, and detritus.

Species found in Indian waters – List

The Pearlspot fish is a native species of the Indian subcontinent, found along the west coast of India from Maharashtra to Kerala, and along the east coast from Orissa to Tamil Nadu. The different species of Pearlspot fish found in India include:

Etroplus suratensis – Common Pearlspot

Etroplus maculatus – Orange Chromide

Etroplus canarensis – Canara Pearlspot

Etroplus johngarthii – Green Chromide

Which parts of India it is eaten

Pearlspot fish is a popular food fish in the southern states of India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is a delicacy in these states and is often prepared as a curry or fried dish.

Importance in marine ecosystem

The Pearlspot fish is an important species in the marine ecosystem as it plays a vital role in the food chain. It is a source of food for larger predatory fishes, and also helps in controlling the population of small invertebrates and aquatic plants. The fish is also important in the traditional aquaculture practices in India, where it is reared in brackish water ponds and backwaters.

IUCN status of Indian species

The Pearlspot fish is listed as a Least Concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, the population of this fish is declining due to habitat loss, overfishing, and pollution. Conservation efforts are needed to protect this species and maintain its population in the Indian waters.

image_pdfDownload As PDF

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *