This family of anabantoids (which includes the famous
Climbing Perch) is more diverse in Africa.
Tan Hong Kim
Ikan Betuk, Puyu,
fish; 25 cm; oviparous; omnivorous (large ones are predatory);
or solitary; near-bottom dweller. Indigenous, fairly common. Forest
and rural streams, canals, drains, ponds and reservoirs.
One of the most celebrated local fishes, Anabas is capable
of wandering "cross-country" from one water body to another. It crawls
about with its spiky gill covers propped by its pectoral fins.
Gill cover of Anabas
Some local Malays like
to keep climbing perches in their house, believing that they help ward off
evil spirits (for more details). They are sold in
markets for food occasionally. Anabas does not build a bubble-nest,
the eggs being scattered and free floating.
Anabas "walking" across a sandbank
hind part of the fish twitches violently to propel it forward. Using
this method, and when the air is sufficiently humid, it is said to
be able to cover several hundred metres per trip.
Despite its common name, Anabas cannot really climb!
Fishes in Singapore
Amazing Fishy Facts
About the guidebook