Lethrinus harak is a species of fish belonging to the family of emperor breams (Lethrinidae), which inhabits the waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, from the coasts of Australia to Japan and the Red Sea. It is a species that has a preference for coastal waters, and generally associated with sandy bottoms and up to 50 meters deep.
The body of Lethrinus harak is compressed and tall, with a maximum total length of 50 cm, although specimens of 25-35 cm in length are usually observed. The dorsal cephalic profile of this species is moderately convex in the orbital area. Its short snout contrasts with its large eyes located quite dorsally. The dorsal fin is unique and continuous, being formed by a spiny region of 10 rays, followed by 9 soft rays. Between the spiny and the soft region there is a very slight indentation, and the fourth or fifth spine is usually the highest of the entire dorsal fin. As for the anal fin, it consists of 3 spines and 8 soft rays, the first soft ray being the longest of all. The pectoral fins have 13 rays.
As for the coloration of Lethrinus harak, the dorsal part is usually olive green, being much paler on the ventral side. This species stands out for its unmistakable elliptical black spot with orange-yellowish edges that are located on the flanks at the height where the pectoral fins end, and just below the lateral line. This spot is unique and distinctive from other species of the emperor breams family. Occasionally, there may be bluish spots bordering the lower edge of the eyes. The vertical fins, that is to say the dorsal and anal fins, have pink or reddish spots or stripes, the margins and soft parts of these being brighter. The pectoral fins are pale orange, and the pelvic fins are even paler.
We can observe specimens of Lethrinus harak both solitary and forming small groups of individuals. The diet of this species is varied, finding among its prey mainly crustaceans and small fish, complemented with polychaetes, molluscs and echinoderms.Photos: