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 Balitoridae
This predominantly Asian family (included with the Cobitidae by earlier scientists) comprises subcylindrically-shaped fishes which usually prefer the faster flowing streams. It was previously better known as the Homalopteridae or Torrent Loaches.

Many species (e.g., Gastromyzon and Homaloptera) have their ventral surfaces very smooth and devoid of scales, and the pectoral and pelvic fins laterally expanded, such that altogether, they form an effective sucker device to prevent themselves from being washed downstream.
photo of suction-like pads
Ventral view showing suction
pad-like fins of the Torrent Loach (Homaloptera tweediei) (Malaysia)

Photo: Tan Bee Hong

These specialised genera however, are not known from Singapore, although local aquaria occasionally stock specimens.

Genus Nemacheilus
photo of grey banded loach: whole fish, side viewGrey-banded Loach
Nemacheilus selangoricus
Ikan Pasir,
name in chinese characters

Primarily freshwater fish; 9 cm; oviparous; omnivorous; solitary or gregarious; benthic. Indigenous; endangered. Forest streams.

This fish prefers a soft, sandy substrate and fairly fast flowing water. It feeds on detritus and small benthic invertebrates.

In Singapore, it is not known outside the main catchment area, but is relatively common in Malaysia.
close-up photo of face
Face of Grey-banded Loach
Photo: Tan Bee Hong
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