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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2014
   

 

   

 

 

 

Awareness of the amazing diversity of Southeast Asia's tropical reef fishes is high - coral reefs are highly photogenic.  The diversity of other tropical aquatic systems, such as freshwater (forest streams, pools, lakes etc.) and brackish water (estuarine or mangrove habitat) is less appreciated : this section of Ecology Asia focuses on fishes from such habitats.  The boundary between brackish water and open-marine species is somewhat vague, however, as some mangrove species enter open seas, and conversely many open-marine fish species enter mangrove areas to spawn. 

Species such as the Harlequin Rasbora and Three Spot Gouramy are well known for their beauty, but others such as the Forest Betta (a cousin of the Siamese Fighting Fish) are less well known. The most bizarre fishes in this section are the mangrove-dwelling mudskippers, such as the Blue-spotted Mudskipper, which are able to endure long periods out of water.

All images in this section are, as always,  taken in natural habitat - no captive specimens are photographed.  Thus, the perspective of these images is that of a hiker on a forest trail peering down into a crystal clear stream, or on a boardwalk winding through mangrove. 

Note : On this page, names of freshwater fish species are in
green, those occurring mainly in brackish water are in orange, and marine species in blue. Introduced species are in yellow.

 
 

Barbs, Carps, Rasboras, Danios  (Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae)    

       
Tinfoil Barb
Barbodes schwanenfeldii
 
  Apollo Shark-minnow
Luciosoma setigerum
 
  Hard-lipped Barb
Osteochilus vittatus
 
  Waandersii's Hard-lipped Barb
Osteochilus waandersii
 
Saddle Barb
Systomus banksi
 
       
Six-banded Tiger Barb
Systomus hexazona
 
  Spanner Barb
Systomus lateristriga
 
  Bornean Spotted Barb
Systomus sealei
 
  Krai
Hypsibarbus sp.
 
  Rosefin Rasbora
Rasbora dusonensis
 
       
Einthoven's Rasbora
Rasbora einthovenii
 
  Two-spot Rasbora
Rasbora elegans
 
  Harlequin Rasbora
Trignostigma heteromorpha
 
  Malayan Pygmy Rasbora
Boraras maculatus 
 
  Queen Danio
Devario regina
 
             
Kelah (Malayan Mahseer)
Tor tambroides 
  Sebarau
Hampala macrolepidota 
 
 
    
 
 
 
                 
Loaches  (Cypriniformes : Nemacheilidae & Cobitidae)    
             
Grey-banded Loach
Nemacheilus selangoricus 
  Spotted Eel-loach 
Pangio muraeniformis
   
 
   
 
    
 
                 

Catfishes  (Siluriformes : Siluridae & Clariidae)     

         
Hasselt's Leaf Catfish
Silurichthys hasseltii
  Common Walking Catfish
Clarias batrachus
  Forest Walking Catfish
Clarias leiacanthus
  Slender Walking Catfish
Clarias nieuhofii
 
 
                 

Garfishes, Halfbeaks  (Beloniformes : Belonidae & Hemiramphidae)     

       
Slender Needlefish
Strongylura leiura
  Freshwater Needlefish
Xenentodon canciloides
  Pygmy Halfbeak
Dermogenys collettei
  Forest Halfbeak
Hemirhamphodon pogonognathus
Stripe-nosed Halfbeak
Zenarchopterus buffonis
                 
Ricefishes  (Beloniformes : Adrianichthyidae)     
               
Javanese Ricefish
Oryzias javanicus
               
                 

Toothcarps  (Cyprinodontiformes : Aplocheilidae, Poeciliidae)

           
Whitespot
Aplocheilus panchax
  Guppy
Poecilia reticulata
  Common Molly
Poecilia sphenops
 
 
 
 
                 
Eels  : Swamp Eels (Synbranchiformes : Synbranchidae),  Snake Eels (Anguilliformes : Ophichthidae)
             
Asian Swamp Eel
Monopterus albus
  Snake Eels
Pisodonophis spp.
           
                 

Leaf Fishes  (Perciformes : Nandidae)

               
Malayan Leaf Fish
Nandus nebulosus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                 
Climbing Gouramies  (Perciformes : Anabantidae)
               
Asian Climbing Perch
Anabas testudineus
               
                 
Bettas, Gouramies, Pikeheads  (Perciformes : Osphronemidae)
       
Forest Betta
Betta pugnax
  Giant Gouramy
Osphronemus goramy
  Three-spot Gouramy
Trichogaster trichopterus
  Croaking Gouramy
Trichopis vittata
  Malayan Pikehead
Luciocephalus pulcher
                 
Snakeheads (Perciformes : Channidae)
       
Dwarf Snakehead
Channa gachua
  Forest Snakehead
Channa lucius
  Black Snakehead
Channa melasoma
  Giant Snakehead or Toman
Channa micropeltes
  Common Snakehead, Aruan
Channa striata
                 
Commonly introduced Cichlids  (Perciformes : Cichlidae)
           
Peacock Bass
Cichla orinocensis
  Eartheater Cichlid
Geophagus altifrons
  Common Tilapia
Oreochromis mossambicus

 
 
 
                 

Gudgeons, Gobies and Mudskippers (Perciformes : Eleotridae and Gobiidae)

       
Snakehead Gudgeon
Ophiocara porocephala

 
  Marbled Gudgeon
Oxyeleotris marmorata
  Green-spotted Goby
Acentrogobius janthinopterus
Common Frill-fin Goby
Bathygobius fuscus
 
  Golden Flat-head Goby
Glossogobius aureus
       
Oriental River Goby
Rhinogobius giurinus
 
  Grey Knight Goby
Stigmatogobius sadanundio
 
Blue-spotted Mudskipper
Boleophthalmus boddarti
 
Gt. Blue-spotted Mudskipper
Boleophthalmus pectinirostris
 
Giant Mudskipper
Periophthalmodon schlosseri
 
       
Silver-lined Mudskipper
Periophthalmus argentilineatus
Gold-spotted Mudskipper
Periophthalmus chrysospilos
Dusky-gilled Mudskipper
Periophthalmus variabilis
  Yellow-spotted Mudskipper
Periophthalmus walailakae
  Elongate Mudskipper
Pseudapocryptes elongatus
                 
Cardinalfishes  (Perciformes : Apogonidae)
             
Humpbacked Cardinalfish
Apogon hyalosoma
Chequered Cardinalfish
Apogon margaritophorus
   
  
        
  
   
   
               
Other perciformes  (Terapontidae, Toxotidae, Lutjanidae, Ambassidae, Callionymidae, Chaetodontidae,
Centrogenyidae)
 
       
Banded Archerfish
Toxotes jaculatrix
    
Mangrove Jack
Lutjanus argentimaculatus

   
  Grunters
Terapontidae

 
  Glass Perchlets
Ambassis spp.

 
  Dragonets
Callionymidae
  
             
Kite Butterflyfish
Parachaetodon ocellatus
   
False Scorpionfish
Centrogenys vaigiensis
   
   
 
   
 
   
  
                 

Mullets  (Mugiliformes : Mugilidae)   

               
Mullets
Mugilidae
 
             
 
                 
Puffers, Filefishes  (Tetraodontiformes : Tetraodontidae & Monacanthidae) 
             
Narrow-lined Pufferfish Arothron manilensis      Filefishes
Monacanthidae
   
           
                 
Tongue Soles  (Pleuronectiformes : Cynoglossidae) 
               
Tongue Soles
Cynoglossidae