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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes
Green chromide
Etroplus suratensis

Family Cichlidae
updated Sep 2020
Where seen? This large colourful fish is often seen in groups in our mangroves at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Pasir Ris. The fish is native to India and Sri Lanka and was introduced to Singapore, possibly through the aquarium trade. It has since escaped and are now breeding in our waters.

Features: Up to 30cm, usually about 20cm long. Oval with a short snout and small mouth. Greyish green with 6 to 8 dark bars, a dark spot at the base of the pectoral fins, many scales with a pearly spot. It is sometimes called the Pearlspot.

Pasir Ris Park, Feb 12

Pasir Ris Park, Feb 12
What does it eat? It is mainly herbivorous feeding on filamentous algae, plant material. It may also eat insects. At Sungei Buloh, often seen nibbling on jetty legs and mangrove roots.

Baby chromides: Several adults may take care of a single brood that presumably were spawned by only two of the adults. Tan Heok Hui and Lionel Ng Chin Soon observed a pair with a shoal of fry in Sentosa, suggesting that the fishes have adapted to more marine conditions and may spread among our Southern shores, potentially displacing native species that occupy the same niche.

Human uses: Elsewhere, it is raised in aquaculture and also in the aquarium trade.

Green chromides on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr



  • Tan Heok Hui and Lionel Ng Chin Soon. 28 Oct 2016. Green chromides spawning at Sentosa. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2016: 141-142.
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