Thursday, December 27, 2012

Perch-like fishes

Order Perciformes

This is the largest order of fishes. It contains seahorses, puffers, flatfishes, cichlids, gobies, barracuda, fighting fishes, snakeheads, etc.

Suborder Percoidei

Suborder Labroidei

Suborder Trachinoidei

Sand-perches (Family Pinguipedidae)
Yellow barred Sand-perch Parapercis xanthozona

Suborder Blennioidei

Blennies (Family Blennidae)
Whitebar Oyster-blenny Omobranchus ferox
Striped Fang Blenny Meiacanthus grammistes
Variable Fang Blenny Petroscirtes variabilis

Suborder Callionymoidei

Dragonets (Family Callionymidae)
Schaap's Dragonet Callionymus schaapi

Suborder Gobioidei

Suborder Acanthuroidei

These fish have a flat disc-shaped body. The most commonly encountered species in this suborder is the Spotted Scat. Batfish are distinguished by the hump on the forehead that is in-line with the eyes. Rabbitfish have spines on their fins, but people still like to eat them. The Chinese name translates literally to "white-bellied fish".

Scats (Family Scatophagidae)
Spotted Scat Scatophagus argus

Batfishes and Spadefishes (Family Ephippidae)
Round-faced Batfish Platax teira

Rabbitfishes (Family Siganidae)
White-spotted Rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus
Blue-spotted Rabbitfish Siganus corallinus
Mottled Rabbitfish Siganus fuscescens
Orange-spotted Rabbitfish Siganus guttatus
Gold-spotted Rabbitfish Siganus punctatus
Brown-spotted Rabbitfish Siganus stellatus
Vermiculated Rabbitfish Siganus vermiculatus
Double-barred Rabbitfish Siganus virgatus

Spotted Scat (Scatophagus argus) at Sungei Buloh ©Tan KH

Suborder Scombroidei

Barracudas (Family Sphyraenidae)
Pickhandle Barracuda Sphyraena jello

Mackerels and Tunas (Family Scombridae)
Indian Mackerel, Kembong Rastrelliger kanagurta

Snake Mackerels (Family Trichiuridae)
Largehead Hairtail Trichiurus lepturus

Suborder Anabantoidei

Climbing Perches (Family Anabantidae)
Asian Climbing Perch Anabas testudineus

Bettas, Gouramies and allies (Family Osphronemidae)
Crescent Fighting Fish Betta imbellis
Forest Fighting Fish Betta pugnax
Siamese Fighting Fish Betta splendens - Introduced
Moonlight Gouramy Trichogaster microlepis - Introduced
Snakeskin Gouramy Trichogaster pectoralis - Introduced
Three-spot Gouramy Trichogaster trichopterus
Croaking Gouramy Trichopsis vittata
Giant Gouramy Osphronemus gouramy - Introduced
Giant Pikehead Luciocephalus pulcher

Suborder Channoidei

Snakeheads are freshwater predatory fishes with a large robust head. There are 5 species in Singapore - 4 native and 1 introduced. The Common Snakehead (Channa striata) is the snakehead one is likely to encounter. It is generally brown in colour with faint stripes on the flanks. The Giant Snakehead (Channa micropeltes) is the largest snakehead species reaching 1 m in length. The adult has a distinctive dorsal stripe pattern. The juvenile lacks this pattern, but has the longitudinal stripe at the side of the body. It is however not a native to Singapore waters. The Black Snakehead (Channa melasoma) may appear all black or with just the fins black.

Snakeheads (Family Channidae)
Common Snakehead Channa striata
Dwarf Snakehead Channa gachua
Giant Snakehead Channa micropeltes - Introduced
Forest Snakehead Channa lucius
Black Snakehead Channa melasoma

Black Snakehead Peirce area ©Ben Lee

Lower Peirce ©Ben Lee

Common Snakeheads at Lower Peirce ©Tan KH and Singapore Botanic Gardens ©Lau SY

Common Snakehead at Chinese Garden ©Tan KH.

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