Focussing on the vertebrate
 fauna of SE Asia


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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2019





Fishes of  Southeast Asia

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.  The boundary between brackish water and open-marine species is somewhat vague, however, as some mangrove species enter open seas, and some open-marine fish species enter mangrove habitat to spawn. 

All images in this section are taken in natural habitat: the perspective is that of an observer standing next to a forest stream, or on a mangrove boardwalk, or in calm, shallow tropical seas.

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.

Bonytongues  (Osteoglossiformes : Osteoglossidae)    
Asian Arowana
Scleropages formosus 

Barbs, Rasboras, Danios, Shark-minnows, Carps  (Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae)    

Saddle Barb
Barbodes banksi
  Spanner Barb
Barbodes lateristriga
  Tinfoil Barb
Barbodes schwanenfeldii
  Bornean Spotted Barb
Barbodes sealei
Six-banded Tiger Barb
Desmopuntius hexazona
Hard-lipped Barb
Osteochilus vittatus
  Waandersii's Hard-lipped Barb
Osteochilus waandersii
Malayan Pygmy Rasbora
Boraras maculatus 
  Rosefin Rasbora
Rasbora dusonensis
  Einthoven's Rasbora
Rasbora einthovenii
Two-spot Rasbora
Rasbora elegans
  Harlequin Rasbora
Trigonostigma heteromorpha
Queen Danio
Devario regina
  Apollo Shark-minnow
Luciosoma setigerum
Hampala macrolepidota
Hypsibarbus sp.
  Kelah (Malayan Mahseer)
Tor tambroides 
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
Snake Eels (Anguilliformes : Ophichthidae), Swamp Eels (Synbranchiformes : Synbranchidae),
Spiny Eels (Synbranchiformes : Mastacembelidae)
Snake Eels
Pisodonophis spp.
  Asian Swamp Eel
Monopterus javanensis
  Buff-backed Spiny Eel
Macrognathus maculatus
  Zebra Spiny Eel
Macrognathus zebrinus

Toothcarps  (Cyprinodontiformes : Aplocheilidae, Poeciliidae)

Aplocheilus panchax
Poecilia reticulata
  Common Molly
Poecilia sphenops

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

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
Trichopodus 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 / temensis
Eartheater Cichlid
Geophagus altifrons
  Common Tilapia
Oreochromis mossambicus


Cardinalfishes  (Perciformes : Apogonidae)

Humpbacked Cardinalfish
Apogon hyalosoma
Chequered Cardinalfish
Apogon margaritophorus

Snappers  (Perciformes : Lutjanidae)

Mangrove Jack
Lutjanus argentimaculatus 
Blacktail Snapper
Lutjanus fulvus

Butterflyfishes  (Perciformes : Chaetodontidae)

Threadfin Butterflyfish
Chaetodon auriga
Double-saddled Butterflyfish
Chaetodon ulietensis
Kite Butterflyfish
Parachaetodon ocellatus

Other perciformes  (Terapontidae, Toxotidae, Ambassidae, Callionymidae, Acanthuridae)

Banded Archerfish
Toxotes jaculatrix
  Glass Perchlets
Ambassis spp.
  Convict Surgeonfish
Acanthurus triostegus

Sergeants, Damselfishes  (Pomacentridae : Abudefduf, Pomacentrus etc.)

Bengal Sergeant
Abudefduf bengalensis
Banded Sergeant
Abudefduf septemfasciatus
Scissortail Sergeant
Abudefduf sexfasciatus
  Indo-Pacific Sergeant
Abudefduf vaigiensis
  Neon Damselfish
Pomacentrus coelestis

Batfishes (Ephippidae : Platax)



Platax spp.

Gudgeons, Gobies and Mudskippers (Gobiiformes : 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

Mullets  (Mugiliformes : Mugilidae)   

Puffers, Filefishes  (Tetraodontiformes : Tetraodontidae & Monacanthidae) 
Narrow-lined Pufferfish Arothron manilensis      Filefishes