field guide to the freshwater fishes of singapore

Index of fishes
General parts of a fish
Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng

Fishes hold a certain fascination for us humans. Many of us have chased after them in small streams during our younger days, keeping simple aquaria, observing them, admiring them, and deriving pleasure from their activities and beauty. Fishes and man have always had a closely knit relationship, from pleasure to food, and sometimes, even profit. The carp for example, has been cultured by the Chinese for almost 3000 years!

Singapore has attained a renowned position as an aquarium centre, breeding and exporting millions of dollars worth of fishes annually. From a biological viewpoint, Singapore's strategic position holds another promise. Being at the centre of South East Asia, one of the richest areas in the world for freshwater fishes, we are in the enviable position of being able to help better understand and conserve this priceless resource. Biological study and conservation equals education. Students (and adults alike) are often obsessed with the desire to put a name to the fishes they see or encounter in canals, streams, reservoirs etc.

Little do many Singaporeans know that many of the common fishes imported from Malaysia or Sumatra are in fact, also present in Singapore. Identification however, is not always easy. Comprehensive fish atlases exist, but are too expensive or lack local information to be very useful to students. Scientific texts abound, but are often incomprehensible to the layman. Despite the small size of our island, Singapore has a surprisingly large number of freshwater fishes. Admittedly, because of development, many species have invariably disappeared. But the survivors should not be scoffed at or ignored until they too die out.

This book seeks to enlighten the general public to the richness of our freshwater fish fauna.Many great fish experts (including several Singaporeans) have preceeded us to enable us to put together this book. With the growing number of Singaporeans appreciating and seeking to know more about local natural history, we hope this book will serve to fill the gap for freshwater fishes. Perhaps with time "fish-watching" might become as common a past-time as bird-watching is today!

K K P Lim
P K L Ng
Freshwater habitats
Fishes in Singapore
Amazing Fishy Facts
About the guidebook
From A Guide to Common Freshwater Fishes of Singapore by Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP

@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre