Tusked Silverside

Dentatherina Merceri
Tusked Silverside - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Dentatherina Merceri
Other names Mercer's Tusked Silverside
Size Up to 5 cm (1.96 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, inshore amongst islands & coral reefs
Depth Range 1 - 5 m (16 ft)
Tusked Silverside Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Tusked Silverside are a species of fish typically found in Queensland in shallower waters amongst reef or in brackish water estuaries.
  • They are a small, slender fish with a somewhat transparent body. Their name comes from the tusk-like structure present near their throat.
  • The Tusked Silverside feeds on tiny crustaceans and zooplankton.
  • They are a schooling fish and are often seen in large groups, providing a mesmerising sight when they move in a synchronised fashion.
  • Their semi-transparent bodies act as a form of camouflage, making it harder for predators to spot them, especially in sun-dappled waters.
  • They usually breed during the warmer months. However, like many fish species, the specific timing can vary depending on the region and environmental conditions.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 1.5 – 3 years.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

The Tusked Silverside are a small, schooling fish which are easy to identify for snorkelers and divers around reefs. Their shiny bodies and mesmerising schooling behaviour also make them a interesting species to have in home aquariums.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Atheriniformes

Family: Atherinidae

Genus: Dentatherina

Species: Dentatherina Merceri

Conservation Status

The Tusked Silverside’s conservation status in Australia is classified as “Least Concern.” However, it is essential to verify this information with more recent sources for up-to-date status.

Tusked Silverside
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

Temperament: Shy

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 60 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Intermediate

Temperament: Shy

Location: Inner Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!