Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Stripe-nosed Halfbeak
   
   
  Order : Beloniformes
Family : HEMIRAMPHIDAE
Species : Zenarchopterus buffonis
Maximum Length : 23 cm
  

Fig 1

 

Fig 2
  

Fig 3
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stripe-nosed Halfbeak, or Buffon's River-garfish, inhabits brackish water habitats, such as river estuaries and mangrove, as well as reef habitats.

This is a shoaling species : in healthy habitats many hundreds may be found in a small area, swimming just below the water's surface and all pointing in the  direction of the prevailing current.

Its body is elongate and of moderate girth, and the tail truncate. The lower jaw is long and spear-like, and the upper jaw somewhat shorter : this jaw arrangement has evolved to allow halfbeaks to easily feed on floating debris such as fallen insects.

The flanks are slivery, and the dorsal surface olive-brown. There is a distinctive black line running along the midline of the upper jaw, and a pale spot on thee tip of the lower jaw.

The Stripe-nosed Halfbeak occurs throughout much of Southeast Asia and the western Pacific.


Figs 1 and 2 : Part of a large shoal of Stripe-nosed Halfbeak at Sungei Buloh, Singapore.

Fig 3 : Close-up of the head and elongated jaws.


References : F3, F4