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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Green Chromide

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3















Order : Perciformes
Species : Etroplus suratensis
Maximum Length : 40 cm (typically up to 20 cm).

Green Chromide, or 'Pearlspot', is one of three species of Etroplus cichlid currently recognised (as of 2020). It is a euryhaline species i.e. it can tolerate a wide range of salinities.

Its diet comprises aquatic algae and other plant matter, and insects. In addition, its pharyngeal teeth, which are located on the pharyngeal arch in the throat of cichlids and some other fishes, are able to crush and grind small molluscs (De Silva et al, 1982).

Parents exhibit a high degree of care towards their eggs: hundreds of these are attached to submerged objects such as rocks, tree roots and aquatic plants, and are fanned by the parents to maintain water circulation around the egg clutch. After hatching, fry tend to cluster around the parents for protection for the first few weeks or so. 

Its body shape is oval, and typically grey-green with 5 or 6 oblique, dark bars on the flanks. Some examples may be dark brown or blackish throughout. Tiny, pale spots are scattered all over its body. The tail fin is truncate i.e. the shape is squarish.

Etroplus suratensis is a native of India and Sri Lanka. In Singapore it is a long-established introduced species, where it occurs in freshwater reservoirs, man-made drainage canals, and mangrove habitat, particularly at Sungei Buloh.

Fig 1 : Example from a mangrove inlet at Sungei Buloh, Singapore. The other two fish in this image are a Banded Archerfish and a Stripe-nosed Halfbeak.

Figs 2 and 3 : Examples from an abandoned prawn pond at Sungei Buloh, Singapore.

References :

De Silva, S. S., Maitipe, P. & Cumaranatunge, R. T. (1984). Aspects of the biology of the euryhaline Asian cichlid, Etroplus suratensis. Environmental biology of fishes, 10(1-2), 77-87.