Scalloped Glassfish, Ambassis nalua (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)

Other Names: Scalloped Perchlet

A Scalloped Glassfish, Ambassis nalua, from Bais market, Negros, Negros Oriental, Philippines - USNM 403430. Source: Jeffrey T. Williams / Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Division of Fishes. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A translucent greenish-brown to dusky grey glassfish with a silvery abdomen and cheeks, a black membrane between the second and third dorsal-fin spines, dusky scales on the back and along the dorsal and anal-fin bases, and a black stripe along the midside.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Ambassis nalua in Fishes of Australia, accessed 07 Mar 2021,

Scalloped Glassfish, Ambassis nalua (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)

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Found northern Australia, from Port Warrender, WA, to Proserpine, QLD. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-West Pacific from the west coast of India (Kerala State) to the Andaman Islands, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia and New Guinea. Inhabits bays, estuaries and mangrove-lined creeks.

Species Citation

Chanda nalua Hamilton, 1822, Fishes River Ganges: 107. Type locality: Ganges River, India.


Dianne J. Bray

Scalloped Glassfish, Ambassis nalua (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Burgess, W.E. 1990. A review of the glassfishes (Chandidae) of Australia and New Guinea. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 34: 139-206.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Anderson, M.E. & Heemstra, P.C. 2003. Review of the glassfishes (Perciformes: Ambassidae) of the Western Indian Ocean. Cybium 27(3): 199-209. PDF open access

Dahanukar, N. 2012. Ambassis nalua. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1. . Downloaded on 11 May 2015.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Hamilton, F. 1822. An Account of the Fishes Found in the River Ganges and its Branches. Edinburgh : Archibald Constable 405 pp., pls 1-39.

Kottelat, M., Whitten, A.J., Kartikasar, S.N. & Wirjoatmodjo, S. 1993. Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Hong Kong : Periplus Editions 259 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37310005

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Habitat:Estuarine to freshwater

Max Size:12.5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map