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 Gobiidae
World wide. The gobies, like the sleeper gobies are a group of mainly bottom-dwelling fishes characterised by their fused pelvic fins, which are used as a form of sucker device.

With this, they are able to cling to objects vertically or even upside-down. They seem to swim using their large pectoral fins.
photo of pelvic fins (from below)
Pelvic fins of
photo of pelvic fins (from below)
Pelvic fins of Gobiidae
Several species of gobies are known to inhabit local freshwater though they are mostly euryhaline in habits. Some have become landlocked as a result of the damming of estuaries to form catchment reservoirs. The taxonomy of many of the smaller gobies is still unsettled, and the scientific names used here are provisional.

Genus Stigmatogobius
photo of whole fish, side viewPond Goby
Stigmatogobius poecilosoma
Ikan Belolot, name in chinese characters

Euryhaline; 4 cm; oviparous; omnivorous; found in large numbers (but males are territorial); benthic. Indigenous, common. Rural and urban streams, canals, drains, ponds and reservoirs.
This is about the most common goby found in landlocked waters, where it has continued to thrive. The more colourful males are highly territorial, eagerly defending their "turf" from other males. Small individuals and females are rather drab, and are commonly found in canals and drains.
photo of pair of pond gobies

diagramKnight Goby
Stigmatogobius sadanundio
Ikan Pahlawan, name in chinese characters

Euryhaline; 8 cm; oviparous; carnivorous; gregarious (but males are somewhat territorial); benthic. Indigenous, common in brackish water. Canals, coastal streams, drains and mangrove creeks. A very attractive and fairly common goby, often seen in aquaria, being sold as a wholly freshwater fish. They seem to thrive better in brackish waters.

Genus Brachygobius
photo of whole fish, side viewBumblebeefish Fish
Brachygobius xanthomelas
Ikan Lebah, name in chinese characters

Euryhaline; 2 cm; oviparous; carnivorous; solitary or gregarious; benthic. Indigenous, common in brackish water. Brackish water drains, rural and mangrove streams.

An appropriately named but completely harmless fish which can thrive in pure fresh water. It does not seem to be common in the aquaria compared to other imported species of Brachygobius. Unlike B. xanthomelas, these imported species tend to survive better in brackish waters.
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