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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. Long flattened body, small eyes on blunt rounded head. It is supposed to have barbels 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. The tiny tail fin is separated from the long dorsal and anal fins. These fishes are secretive. The eggs of these fishes develop inside the mother and she gives birth to live young (ovoviviparous).

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

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.

Cyrene, Sep 20
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu 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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