Arabian Monocle Bream


Name: Arabian Monocle Bream

Local name: Zarrah

Scientific name: Scolopsis ghanam

Classification: Class: ray-finned fishes; Order: perch-likes; Family: monocle breams (Nemipteridae)

Size: It commonly attains 12 cm, with a maximum total length of 15 cm.


The Arabian Monocle Bream is a demersal species, inhabiting inshore waters usually on shallow sandy bottoms close to coral assemblages from very shallow water to depths of 20 m. Between short periods of swimming, it tends to hover just above the bottom, sometimes following foraging goatfishes. It feeds on crustaceans


This species is widespread in the Indian Ocean, from the Red Sea and eastern Africa, via the Arabian Seas, east to India, including the Andaman Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean.

Conservation status:

It has not yet been assessed globally by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In a recent regional assessment for the Arabian Gulf it was classified as Least Concern (LC). It is caught in traps and gillnets.


The body is oblong and moderately compressed. The caudal fin is moderately forked. Head and body are olivaceous dorsally, greenish white on the flanks and ventrally, with a dark brown spot on each scale, which gradually fades ventrally. A white-edged dark brown stripe follows the curved part of the lateral line, the white upper edge becoming yellow dorsally on the caudal peduncle. A light green line extends from above the eye to the rear base of the dorsal fin. Fins are whitish, and the dorsal fin has a narrow yellow margin. Juveniles are whitish with three blackish stripes dorsally on the body.