Genus Pempheris

Sweepers have a deep body that tapers strongly posteriorly, mainly on the ventral side. They have a short snout, a strongly oblique mouth, a protrusible upper jaw, and numerous long gill rakers - specialisations for feeding on zooplankton. They also have an inner layer of small scales and an outer layer of much larger scales, with the lateral line scales forming part of the inner layer, but not completely covered by the large outer scales. The dorsal fin is short-based and pointed, and the anal fin is very long and low.
Sweepers are mostly nocturnal, usually sheltering in the reef during the day, emerging to feed at night (Randall & Bineesh 2014).
Author: Bray, D.J. 2021

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Pempheris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,


Mooi, R.D. &. Jubb, R.N. 1996. Descriptions of two new species of the genus Pempheris (Pisces: Pempheridae) from Australia, with a provisional key to Australian species. Records of the Australian Museum 48(2): 117-130 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.48.1996.284, Open access

Randall, J.E. & Bineesh, K.K. 2014. Review of the fishes of the genus Pempheris (Perciformes: Pempheridae) of India, with description of a new species and a neotype for P. mangula Cuvier. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 10: 20-40. PDF Open access