Part of the thornfish family, the four-lined terapon is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific, from the shores of East Africa to Japan and New Guinea. Populations in the Mediterranean are thought to have migrated there from the Red Sea via
the Suez Canal. Four-lined terapon favour brackish water and are usually found living in small schools in estuaries. Juvenile fish seek shelter from predators in seagrass beds and mangrove bays, and eventually reach a maximum size of 30 centimetres in length. Silver in colour, the four-lined terapon has between four and six dark horizontal lines and a black blotch behind the head. They feed on small fish and invertebrates, and after the female lays eggs, the male guards them and keeps them aerated.
Also known as the tiger perch, crescent grunter or simply the thornfish, the jarbua terapon is native to the Indo-West Pacific. It was also recently documented from the Mediterranean. Primarily a marine species, it has been found far upstream and may tolerate
freshwater as well as saltwater and brackish water. The species favours sandy bottoms, and is often caught in the vicinity of river mouths. The jarbua terapon is a fierce predator, preying on smaller fish. It is also lepidophagous, which means that it eats the scales of larger fish. Reaching an average length of 25 centimetres, the species is pale brown above and cream below, with three to four dark curved bands running the length of its body. It makes an audible croaking sound when removed from the water.