Harlequin sandsmelt (Toragisu)

a photo of Harlequin sandsmelt (Toragisu)

The appearance of Harlequin sandsmelt (Toragisu)

Common name: Harlequin sandsmelt, Grub fish, Rosy grub, Rosy grub fish

Japanese name: Toragisu (虎鱚)

Taiwan common name: 美擬鱸、海狗甘仔、舉目魚、雨傘閂、花狗母海、沙鱸、花狗母 (澎湖)

Scientific name: Parapercis pulchella (Temminck & Schlegel, 1843)

Nigiri sushi detail: Harlequin sandsmelt (Toragisu) Nigiri sushi


Harlequin sandsmelt (Toragisu) is widely distributed south of Tokyo on the Pacific Ocean side, south of Niigata on the Sea of Japan side, Korean Peninsula, and Indo-West Pacific region. It inhabits shallow coastal waters and stays still on sand and gravel bottoms around reefs. The body length is 15~20 cm. Its body shape is almost cylindrical, elongated, and laterally flattened toward the tail. The body color is light yellowish brown with six dark brown transverse bands on the body and a white longitudinal band running through the center.

Toragisu is not a fish that can be targeted and caught, making it difficult to market. It has a light flavor and many small bones, making it suitable for tempura and deep frying. It is used as an ingredient for fish paste products such as kamaboko.


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