The pearlspot, Etroplus suratensis, largest Indian cichlids, is a popular aquarium fish and commercial high-valued food fish around South-East Asian country. It is widely distributed in the backwaters and freshwaters along the coastal regions from South Canara to Indian Thiruvananthapuram on the west coast and later introduced to brackishwater bodies on the east coast, such as Chilka Lake and is cultured traditionally. Being its ability to feed on a variety of natural foods, these fishes are highly adapted to captive farming. It also has immense potential as ornamental fish. It has wide salinity tolerance power and the unique feature of nesting and parental care. Owing to its good palatability and ﬂesh quality, pearlspot has high consumer preference. Euryhaline and omnivorous feeding habit makes the ﬁsh compatible to be farmed in polyculture with both brackishwater and freshwater system. The successful rearing of a species depends on adequate knowledge of its different biological attributes. This review is a consolidated report on the morphological characteristics, food and feeding habits, growth performances, reproductive biology and culture of pearlspot. Further study is needed on these comparatively less explored aspects to support its fishery and trade in the near future.
Keywords: Etroplus suratensis, morphology, feeding habit, breeding biology, culture