Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 11-12 spines and 9-11 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 7-10 rays. Pectoral fin rays 13-14. Body depth 2.5-3.2 in standard length. Spinous part of dorsal fin strongly arched and deeply notched. Penultimate dorsal spine shorter than ultimate dorsal spine. Lower opercular spine very long, extending distinctly beyond edge of opercular flap.
Colour: Body silvery, with 3 or 4 curved dark brown or blackish stripes. Spinous dorsal fin with large black blotch. Several black stripes on caudal fin.
Habitat and Biology: Occurs in inshore waters, often in brackish and fresh waters. Lightly predacious feeding on small fishes and shrimps. Reported to be a scale eater.
Distribution: Widely spread in the Indo-West Pacific.
Remarks: The juveniles and adults of Terapon jarbua are often found in freshwater, but according to Wallace (1975) spawning occurs in the sea.