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Asiatic glassfishes
Indian glassy fish, Parambassis ranga
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
(unranked): Ovalentaria
Family: Ambassidae
Klunzinger, 1870


The Asiatic glassfishes are a family, the Ambassidae, of freshwater and marine fishes that were formerly classified in the order Perciformes, but most authorities consider this order to be paraphyletic and that the Ambassidae are of uncertain affinities, incertae sedis, but within the subseries Ovalentaria.[2] The species in the family are native to Asia, Oceania, the Indian Ocean, and the western Pacific Ocean. The family includes eight genera and about 51 species.[3]

The largest species reaches a maximum size around 26 cm (10 in). Many of the species are noted for their transparent or semitransparent bodies.[4]

Several species are used as aquarium fish, noted for their transparent bodies. The Indian glassy fish (Parambassis ranga) is transparent, but showier specimens that had been injected with artificial coloring were sold as novelty pets in the 1990s. Since then, these "painted fish" have become much less popular, with more fishkeepers seeking naturally pigmented specimens.[5]

Some species are known as perchlets.

Naming history[edit]

The family has also been called Chandidae, and some sources continue to use the name. Because Ambassidae was used first, in 1870, it has precedence over Chandidae, which was first used in 1905.[6]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). "Ambassidae" in FishBase. December 2012 version.
  2. ^ J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. p. 752. ISBN 978-1-118-34233-6. Archived from the original on 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  3. ^ "Fish Identification". Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  4. ^ "Fish Identification: Find family". Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  5. ^ Dawes, J. Complete Encyclopedia of the Freshwater Aquarium. Firefly Books. 2001. page 289.
  6. ^ Morgan, D. L. (2010). Fishes of the King Edward River in the Kimberley region, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 25: 351–68.