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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes
Yellow cuskeel
Dinematichthys iluocoeteoides

Family Bythitidae
updated Sep 2020
Where seen? This odd little eel-like fish is sometimes seen on some of our shores, usually near reefs at night. It was previously listed under Family Brotulidae and thus sometimes still referred to as brotulids. Another species, the Riau viviparous brotula (Ungusurculus riauensis) looks very similar.

Features: 4-7cm long, can grow to 12cm. Body long flattened, head rounded with tiny eyes. It has a pair of long filaments under its head, but this is hard to see this in a live fish in the wild. It has scales on body, cheeks and gill covers. Tail fin tiny and is separated from the long dorsal and anal fins. Colour usually orangey pink.

Baby cuskeels: Eggs develop inside the mother and she gives birth to live young (ovoviviparous). Embryos are retained in the ovaries until about 6 mm long, getting their nourishment from large yolk sacs.

Sometimes mistaken for other eel-like fishes. Here's more on how to tell apart sea snakes, eels and eel-like animals.

Labrador, May 06

Sisters Island, Jul 07

Tiny tail fin separated from
long dorsal and anal fins.

Yellow cuskeels on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Pulau Sekudu, Jun 14
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Small Sisters Island, Jul 23
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Cyrene, Sep 20
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Terumbu Bemban, May 21
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Pulau Salu, Apr 21
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Family Bythitidae recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
+Other additions (Singapore Biodiversity Record, etc)

  Family Bythitidae
  Dinematichthys iluocoeteoides

+Ungusurculus riauensi
(Riau viviparous brotula)



  • Marcus F. C. Ng & Toh Chay Hoon. 20 June 2014. Riau viviparous brotula at Pulau Sekudu, Ungusurculus riauensi. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 172
  • Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore. National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
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