> Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes
are more familiar with colourful dragonets seen on the reefs. But
different kinds are also seen on the intertidal. These small fishes are bottom dwellers and generally found on sand
or mud near reefs. When resting, most are buried in the sand.
What are dragonets? Dragonets belong to Family Callionymidae.
According to FishBase:
the family has 18 genera and 130 species. They are found mainly in
the Indo-West Pacific.
seen about 3-5cm, grows to about 10cm. These fishes are bottom-dwellers. Instead of scales,
the body is covered in a tough skin and usually coated with mucous
that has a bad taste and smell. So they are sometimes also called
stinkfishes. The gill opening is just a small hole, usually on the
upper side of the head, with a strong spine near it. Most
of these fishes are well camouflaged but some species can be quite
colourful. In many species the males and females appear different.
The males usually have an enlarged first dorsal fin that is colourful
with intricate patterns.
A tiny one about 1cm long.
Changi, Aug 12
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.
Downward pointing mouth.
Tanah Merah, Oct 09
of a dead one.
Changi, Oct 09
mistaken for flatheads (Family Platycephalidae). Here's more on how
to tell apart fish with flat heads.
What do they eat? They
pick off small animals from the surface with their pointed, downward
Human uses: Some colourful species
(Synchiropus sp.) are popular in the live aquarium trade. Unfortunately,
they do poorly in captivity as they are difficult to feed since they
only eat tiny animals.
on Singapore shores
Callionymidae recorded for Singapore
Ng, H. H., 2012. The dragonets of Singapore (Actinopterygii: Perciformes:
+Other additions (Singapore Biodiversity Records, etc.)
- Toh Chay Hoon & Kelvin K. P. Lim. Rediscovery of the lined dragonet in Singapore. 30 May 2018. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2018: 54 ISSN 2345-7597. National University of Singapore.
- Kelvin K. P. Lim, Neo Mei Lin, Debby Ng & Toh Chay Hoon. 17 April 2014. New record of Kuiter's dragonet from Singapore. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 103-104
- Ng, H. H.,
dragonets of Singapore (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Callionymidae).
Nature in Singapore, 5: 27-38. [PDF, 1.55 MB]
- Wee Y.C.
and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
- Allen, Gerry,
Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers.
Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
- Kuiter, Rudie
H. 2002. Guide
to Sea Fishes of Australia: A Comprehensive Reference for Divers
New Holland Publishers. 434pp.
Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral
Reef Fishes of the World
Periplus Editions. 400pp.