Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Glass Perchlets
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3
 

Fig 4
  

Fig 5
 






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order : Perciformes
Family : AMBASSIDAE
Species : Ambassis spp.

Globally there are around 20 or so species of glass perchlet (or glassfish) within the genus Ambassis, part of the family Ambassidae, around half of which occur in the waters of Southeast Asia.

These are small, translucent or semi-transparent fishes which occur in large shoals in a wide range of aquatic habitats including freshwater, brackish mangrove-lined inlets, coastal bays and offshore reefs.

Most species occurring in Southeast Asia reach a maximum size of less than 10 cm, apart from Ambassis gymnocephalus which reaches up to 16 cm.

Glass perchlets are omnivorous, feeding mainly on insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates: their mouths are turned upwards to facilitate feeding on floating prey. Their bodies are laterally compressed, and their eyes are generally large.

The upper specimen shown here, which has not been identified to species level, was found in a shallow, sandy bay at Telok Paku, part of the Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo.


Fig 1 : Glass perchlet feeding on floating debris in shallow, near-shore marine habitat at Telok Paku, Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo.

Fig 2 : View of sandy bay habitat at Telok Paku, Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo.

Fig 3 : Kop's Glass Perchlet Ambassis kopsii in mangrove habitat at Pulau Semakau, Singapore.

Fig 4 : A shoal of small Kop's Glass Perchlet fry in a shallow, brackish pool at Sembawang, near the Johor Straits, Singapore. The leaf is from Sea Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus), a common tree found in back-mangrove habitat.

Fig 5 : A slender species of glass perchlet from a brackish pool at Sembawang, near the Johor Straits, Singapore.


References :

Fishbase