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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise stated

© Copyright EcologyAsia 2005
 
 
   

 

 
   
Pygmy Halfbeak
   

Male Pygmy Halfbeak photographed in a forest stream, Singapore.

Family : HEMIRHAMPHIDAE
Species : Dermogenys pusillus
Maximum Length : 7 cm

References : F1

This surface dwelling, carnivorous fish is adapted to habitats varying from acidic, tropical forest streams to brackish mangrove streams.

It is identified by its small size and shape of the jaw. Males often have a red blotch on the dorsal fin (as shown here), and can be aggressive towards other males. The species is ovoviviparous, meaning the young fry hatch internally in the female and are then born alive.

The Pygmy Halfbeak can be distinguished from the similar Forest Halfbeak Hemirhamphodon pogonognathus by the position of the dorsal fin which begins behind  the anal fin.

The species occurs in many Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.