Mercer's tusked silverside originates from the western Central Pacific. It is found from the Philippines to north-eastern Australia and from Moluccas to the Trobriand Islands. It is found close inshore around islands and over coral reefs. Except for larval biology, little is known about this species. It may be taken as food by some commercially important species.
Dentatherina was originally classified in Atherinidae. In 1984, L. R. Parenti considered it to and the other Phallostethids to be sister taxa. However, ranking these two groups (Phallostethidae and Dentatherinidae) as two families within the same superfamily or two subfamilies (Dentatherininae and Phallostethinae) within Phallostethidae is a subjective decision. The distinctiveness of Dentatherina could be used in favor of separate family recognition.