Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Freshwater Needlefish
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4

 

 

 

Order : Beloniformes
Family : BELONIDAE
Species : Xenentodon canciloides
Maximum Length : 30 cm

The Freshwater Needlefish is a surface-dweller of streams and rivers of various sizes, as well as adjacent flooded areas.

Its rod-like dimensions and unhurried movements, with only the most posterior part of the body and tail being used for propulsion, are effective camouflage : it can easily be mistaken for a stick caught in river currents and stream-side eddies.

It is known to feed on insects floating downstream. Its eggs are attached by tendrils to vegetation or other available objects.

The species ranges from Indochina and Thailand, particularly the Mekong Delta, through Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra, Borneo and other parts of Indonesia. It does not occur in Singapore.  


Fig 1 : Freshwater Needlefish at Sungai Relau, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : Sungai Relau, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia.

Figs 3 and 4 : Freshwater Needlefish in a fast-flowing section of a lowland forest stream in Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.