Akame: Lates japonicus

There are different Japanese names for this species: Mehikari in Tokusima, Minouo in Kochi, Maruka in Miyazaki , and Kawanube in Shibusi bay, located southern of Kyushu in Japan.

The mature fish sizes are about 1m over and body colors are silver overall but its back is ash brown. The fish species are the biggest of all freshwater fish in Japan. The size of the largest Akame in Japan is 1m37cm and weight is 30kg. The fish body colors become beautifully black in all when getting excited. The Lates japonicus have long second buttock fin. The fish under jaw protrudes more than the maxilla. The first fin is thorn fin and second fin is flexible fin and buttock fin is thorn fin. Because of light reflection, the fish eyes shines. Because light reflects as for the color of blood, the eyes are red, so the fish Japanese name is Akame. The young fish colors are black brown and there are some yellow and white stripe and point on the head and body. The fish have white meat. The fish face near the lateolabrax japonicus but young fish of Akame tolls are toller than young fish of lateolabrax japonicus.

The fish taxonomy are kingdom-Animalia and phylum-Chordata and class-Actinopterygii and order- Perciformes and family-Latidae and genus-Lates and species-L.japonicus. The scientific name is Lates japonicus Katayama et Taki, 1984. There are one family and one genus and one species in Japan. Family-Latidaes compose three genus and eleven species in Africa and India. Related species of Lates japonicus are Lates calcarifer and Lates niloticus and Psammoperca waigiensis.

The mature fish inhabit shallow ocean and occasionally inhabit the mouth of rivers and bays in brackish water range.

The fish range is the black stream and Pacific Ocean side of Japan. The fish is an endemic species. Mainly the fish can see in Kochi and Miyazaki.

The fish are an oviparous animal and carnivorous animal. They eat small fish and shrimp and crab. The mature fish eat carp about 30cm. The fish come in to lay from June to August. The young fish are about 4mm. The young fish come to the mouth of a river from spring to autumn and inhabit Zostera marina place. They grow until about 10cm and body becomes black and white stripes. Shortly afterward, they leave the mouth of a river. But it doesn’t know whether the fish lay eggs in river or sea. The fish come to mouth of a river, because a parasite adheres to the fish body by osmotic pressure. The fish are in Red Data Book, because the range of inhabit is narrow and the fish is small populations. The fish are NT in Tokushima, DD in Ehime, and CR in Kochi in Red Date Book.

The fish is best to see in Summer season in Urado bay,Kochi,. But recently Urado bay in Kochi is contaminated, so the fish are decreasing. So you may be able to see them in Shimanto River in summer rather than Urado bay in summer. The fish can frequently be seen in Shimanto River when the water level of the river after rain goes up. The fish can be seen in the Kasturahama aquarium.


  1. I was surprised because I don’t know to existent many different names. And the fish species are the biggest of all freshwater fish in Japan. The size of the largest Akame in Japan is 1m37cm and weight is 30kg. I wish see it.


  2. I knew Akame When I was high school student.
    Akame live in Kochi.
    Their body is very big.
    They were looked in Tokusima, ago.


  3. I know Akame become very big. But I don’t think their largest size is 1m37cm and weight is 30kg in Japan. It is very surprised because I think largest size is around 1m. .


  4. I have seen Akame only once in the Katsurahama aquarium.
    I was surprised because it was very large.


  5. Once, I had watched them in Katsurashima aquarium. So, i have taken interest in them.
    I hope to see them in nature someday.


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