Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cichlids, wrasses, sergeants

Suborder Labroidei

This suborder contains cichlids, wrasses, sergeants, etc. The most famous members of this suborder in Singapore, unfortunately, are the tilapias and the ornamental cichlid hybrid, luohan.

Cichlids (Family Cichlidae)

  1. Threadfin Acara Acarichthys heckelii - Introduced1
  2. Midas Cichlid Amphilophus citrinellus - Introduced
  3. Red Devil Cichlid Amphilophus labiatus - Introduced
  4. Peacock Bass Cichla monoculus - Introduced
  5. Butterfly Peacock Bass Cichla ocellaris - Introduced
  6. Peacock Bass Cichla orinocensis - Introduced
  7. Guayas Cichlid Cichlasoma festae - Introduced
  8. Three Spot Cichlid Cichlasoma trimaculatum - Introduced
  9. Mayan Cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus - Introduced
  10. Green Chromide Etroplus suratensis - Introduced
  11. Eartheater Cichlid Geophagus altifrons - Introduced
  12. Zebra Tilapia Heterotilapia buttikoferi - Introduced
  13. Common Tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus - Introduced
  14. Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus - Introduced
  15. Jaguar Guapote Parachromis managuensis - Introduced
  16. Red-breasted Cichlid Paratheraps synspilus - Introduced
  17. Luohan (cichlid hybird) - Introduced

Wrasses, Tuskfishes and allies (Family Labridae)

  1. Red-banded Maori Wrasse Cheilinus fasciatus
  2. Anchor Tuskfish Choerodon anchorago
  3. Black-spot Tuskfish Choerodon schoenleinii
  4. Diamond Tuskfish Halichoeres dussumieri
  5. Brown Stripe Wrasse Halichoeres bicolor
  6. Silty Wrasse Halichoeres purpurescens

Sergeants, Damselfishes, Anemonefishes and allies (Family Pomacentridae)

  1. Bengal Sergeant Abudefduf bengalensis
  2. Black-spot Sergeant Abudefduf sordidus
  3. Scissorstail Sergeant Abudefduf sexfasciatus
  4. Clark's Anemonefish Amphiprion clarkii
  5. Tomato Anemonefish Amphiprion frenatus
  6. Clown Anemonefish Amphiprion ocellaris
  7. Saddleback Anemonefish Amphiprion polymnus
  8. Pink Skunk Anemonefish Amphiprion perideraion
  9. Yellow-banded Damsel Dischistodus fasciatus
  10. Pale-spot Damsel Dischistodus chrysopoecilus
  11. Honey-head Damsel Dischistodus prosopotaenia
  12. Threespot Damsel Pomacentrus tripunctatus

Cichlids (Family Cichlidae)

Most cichlids are native to Africa and South America, although there are some species in Central America and the Caribbean, as well as the Middle East to India. All Cichlids in Singapore are non-native. The most infamous being the luohan, which is a cultivated hybrid of various species of cichlids. Others like the Common Tilapia (also known as Mozambique Tilapia) and Green Chromide are also commonly seen in canals and rivers.

Butterfly Peacock Bass Cichla ocellaris at Sengkang Riverside Park ©Tan KH

Mayan Cichlids (Cichlasoma urophthalmus) at Sungei Buloh ©Tan KH

Green Chromide (Etroplus suratensis) at Admiralty Park (left) and Sungei Buloh ©Tan KH

Green Chromide at Changi Coast ©Tan KH

Common Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) at Admiralty Park ©Tan KH

Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) at Kranji Marsh ©Tan KH

Luohans at Sungei Serangoon ©Tan KH


1. J. H. Liew, H. H. Tan, Y. Yi, D. C. J. Yeo. (2014) Ecology and origin of the introduced cichlid Acarichthys heckelii in Singapore’s fresh waters—first instance of establishment. Environmental Biology of Fishes 97:10, 1109-1118.


  1. Dear Tan, can you tell me more about the Etroplus suratensis shown on the second picture? The fishes I know as E. suratensis looks different and do not have such a dark mask are not as yellow as shown. However, I haven't seen them in breeding colour. Rgds, Holger

  2. Don't trust the colour in my photo. I could have over adjusted the contrast to reduce the blur.