Japanese Threadfin Bream, Pentapodus nagasakiensis (Tanaka 1915)

Other Names: Big-eye Whiptail, Japanese Butterfish, Japanese Whiptail

A Japanese Threadfin Bream, Pentapodus nagasakiensis. Source: Roger Steene / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A yellowish threadfin bream becoming whitish below, with a broad yellow stripe running from the snout through the eye to the caudal-fin base, that is bounded above and below by whitish stripes.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Pentapodus nagasakiensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/614

Japanese Threadfin Bream, Pentapodus nagasakiensis (Tanaka 1915)

More Info


Houtman Abrohlos, Western Australia, to the Arafura Sea, NE of Darwin, and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, with juveniles south to Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the west-Pacific.
Inhabits soft sediment areas, often around coral reefs. 


Dorsal  fin X,9; Anal fin III,7. 
Head scales reaching forward to between level of anterior margin of eyes and posterior nostrils. Suborbital naked. Lower limb of preopercle naked. Pelvic fins moderately long, reaching to or almost to level of anus. Lobes of caudal fin pointed, more or less equal in length. Axillary scale present. 


Feeds mostly on small crustaceans, especially shrimps.


Occasionally taken as bycatch in mixed-species fisheries.


The species is named for the type locality: a fish market at Nagasaki, Japan.

Species Citation

Leptoscolopsis nagasakiensis Tanaka 1915. Figures and Descriptions of the Fishes of Japan, including Riukiu Islands, Bonin Islands, Formosa, Kurile Islands, Korea and southern Sakhalin. Tokyo Vol. 20: 365. Type locality: Nagasaki fish market, Japan.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Japanese Threadfin Bream, Pentapodus nagasakiensis (Tanaka 1915)


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

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

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. 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Russell, B.C. 1990. FAO Species Catalogue. Nemipterid fishes of the World (Threadfin breams, Whiptail breams, Monocle breams, Dwarf monocle breams, and Coral breams — Family Nemipteridae). Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Vol. 12. Rome : FAO 149 pp. VIII pls. 

Russell, B.C. 2001. Nemipteridae. pp. 3051-3089 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp. 

Russell, B., Lawrence, A. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2016. Pentapodus nagasakiensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69539356A69539726. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T69539356A69539726.en. Accessed on 14 September 2023.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. 

Tanaka, S. 1915. Figures and descriptions of the fishes of Japan, including Riukiu Islands, Bonin Islands, Formosa, Kurile Islands, Korea and southern Sakhalin. Tokyo Vol. 20 pp. 343–370 pls 96–100.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37347012

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:10-200 m

Habitat:Reef associated, soft sediment areas

Max Size:20 cm TL

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