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 Loricariidae
Typically heavily armoured with tough, bony scutes, these catfishes are flattened ventrally, with lips modified into a sucker-like device which enables them to cling onto surfaces, rasping off algae and other benthic organisms at the same time in very fast water. All are native to South America.
close-up photo of sucker lips showing rasping teeth
Sucker lips and rasping
teeth of Hypostomus

Genus Hypostomus
photo of whole fish, side view
Photo: Francis Lim
Armoured Sucker Catfish
Hypostomus sp.
Ikan Sedut, name in chinese characters

Primarily freshwater fish; 60 cm; oviparous; omnivorous (although subsisting mainly on
algae); solitary; benthic. Feral, common. Rural streams, canals, drains, ponds and reservoirs.

This very tolerant species (previously placed in Plecostomus) is native to the Amazon basin, and the wild fishes in Singapore most certainly are a result of the ornamental fish trade. It has even reached Hawaii! This species was either deliberately released by aquarists or escaped from fish farms. Recently, the observation of numerous fry belonging to this genus by the authors testify to the firm establishment of this fish here. They are very hardy, able to survive in very fast and dirty waters, sometimes even with high hydrogen sulphide (a poisonous and foul-smelling chemical) concentrations. They are able to breathe atmospheric oxygen to a limited degree. There is an interesting report that the large eggs are eaten by natives as caviar, and that it tastes even better than those marketed at present.
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