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
  Family Cyprinidae
About the family in general

Genus Hypophthalmichthys
photo of whole fish, side view
Photo: Yang Swee Ling
Bighead Carp
Hypophthalmichthys nobilis
Ikan Kap Kepala Besar,
name in chinese characters

Primarily freshwater fish; 100 cm; oviparous; filter-feeder; gregarious; pelagic.
Introduced, popular pond-culture fish. Rural ponds and reservoirs (often in floating net cages).

The disproportionately large head of this fish, originally Chinese, is often used for making the delicious Chinese dish "clay-pot fish-head". In a number of the catchment reservoirs (e.g., Seletar and Pandan), it is kept in floating net cages to help control microscopic floating plankton, as well as to generate revenue from the sale of adults. The fishes filter plankton from the water (the main part of its diet) with gill rakers adapted to form a filtering apparatus. This well known species was previously classified in the genus Aristichthys.
photo of skull
The oversized head of
the Bighead (skull)

photo of skull
Gill rakers for filtering
plankton (arrowed)
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