little fish with a permanent pout is often seen on Changi, sometimes seen on our Northern shores, on sandy
areas near seagrasses. Well camouflaged on the sand, it is hard to
spot. It is more active at night.
Features: Those seen about 5cm, grows to about 10cm. Body somewhat
flattened downwards. Head broad and flat with a narrow pointed mouth so that
the head appears triangular when seen from above. The mouth can stick
out downwards forming a tube and the upper jaw can be greatly extended.
Large eyes are set high on the head. Gill openings reduced to
small pores on the top of the broad head. It has a pattern of spots that blend well with
the sand, usually beige with indistinct dusky spots. But sometimes
with colourful blue spots too. It is white on the underside.
In the male, the first three spines of the dorsal fin are greatly
elongated into filaments. The females lack this.
According to Ng, it lacks a distinct dark spot at the base of the
pectoral fin and anal-fin rays. It is otherwise distinguished from
the other dragonets of Singapore in having a sharply delineated wavy
line separating the colour pattern on the upper and lower surfaces
of the body, dark markings on the anal fin, and the first dorsal fin
of males with elongate second, third, and fourth fin rays. The females
Sometimes mistaken for flatheads (Family Platycephalidae). Here's more on how
to tell apart fish with flat heads.
Changi, Jul 09
Changi, Jun 13
Changi, Jun 09
Underside of a dead specimen.
Tanah Merah, Oct 09
dragonets on Singapore shores
|Other sightings on Singapore shores
East Coast Park, Aug 18
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
Changi, Jun 20
Photo shared by Dayna Cheah on facebook.
Tiny, about 1cm.
Changi, Aug 12
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.
thanks to Dr Ng Heok Hee for correcting the identification of these
- Ng, H. H.,
dragonets of Singapore (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Callionymidae).
Nature in Singapore, 5: 27-38. [PDF, 1.55 MB]