Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found in rivers, rivulets, canals, drains, ponds and lakes (Ref. 4833). Rarely found in the sea (Ref. 45255). Inhabits medium to large rivers, flooded fields and mainly stagnant waters including sluggish flowing canals of the lower Mekong (Ref. 12975). Most common in areas with floating plants or rooted aquatics that reach the surface (Ref. 12693). Larvae and early juveniles are sometimes found in the upper reaches of mangroves during the wet season (Ref. 43081). A live-bearer species. Feed on worms, crustaceans and insects (Ref. 7020). Rarely taken in commercial catches, although it may be found in subsistence catches. Not seen in markets (Ref. 12693).
  • Kottelat, M., A.J. Whitten, S.N. Kartikasari and S. Wirjoatmodjo 1993 Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Hong Kong. 221 p. (Ref. 7050)
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Distribution

Asia: Thailand to Indonesia. Also includes India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh (Ref. 43081).
  • Rainboth, W.J. 1996 Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong. FAO Species Identification Field Guide for Fishery Purposes. FAO, Rome, 265 p. (Ref. 12693)
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Java, Indonesia.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 60 mm SL
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Max. size

7.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 30857))
  • Baird, I.G., V. Inthaphaisy, P. Kisouvannalath, B. Phylavanh and B. Mounsouphom 1999 The fishes of southern Lao. Lao Community Fisheries and Dolphin Protection Project. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR.161 p. (Ref. 30857)
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

pelagic-neritic; freshwater; brackish; marine; pH range: 7.0 - 8.0; dH range: 9 - 19
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabit coastal waters and frequently enters the mangroves and estuaries. Juveniles rarely occur in mangrove waters (Ref. 43081).
  • Rainboth, W.J. 1996 Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong. FAO Species Identification Field Guide for Fishery Purposes. FAO, Rome, 265 p. (Ref. 12693)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Gives birth to 10-30 young.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Dermogenys pusilla

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 51
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; price category: unknown; price reliability:
  • Mills, D. and G. Vevers 1989 The Tetra encyclopedia of freshwater tropical aquarium fishes. Tetra Press, New Jersey. 208 p. (Ref. 7020)
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Wikipedia

Wrestling halfbeak

The wrestling halfbeak, Dermogenys pusilla, also known as Malayan halfbeak is a species of viviparous halfbeak native to the fresh and brackish waters of rivers and coastal regions in South-East Asia, in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra.[1][2] It is a small, slender, livebearing fish, with the elongated lower jaw characteristic of its family. The colour of this species varies, depending on where the specimen is found.[3]

Wrestling halfbeaks are surface-feeding fish and feed on a variety of small invertebrates including crustaceans and insect larvae, but especially mosquito larvae and flying insects that have fallen onto the surface of the water.[4] As with all halfbeaks, the upper jaw lifts upwards when the fish is opening its mouth. Wrestling halfbeaks are livebearing fish, the females giving birth to around twenty offspring after a gestation period of about a month.[5][6][7]

Wrestling halfbeaks are sexually dimorphic. The females are larger than the males and grow up to 7 cm (2.8 inches) long; males only reach about 5.5 cm (2.2 inches) and typically has red or yellow patches on the dorsal fin and the beak.[8][9] The males of wrestling halfbeaks will fight among themselves by locking jaws, hence their name, for up to thirty minutes.

Fish fighting[edit]

In the wild, and in large aquaria, the weaker male will quickly disengage and swim away, and fights therefore rarely result in serious injury to either party. However, in their native range, local people sometimes use wrestling halfbeaks as fighting fish for betting purposes (like fighting cocks or siamese fighting fish).[10][11]

Wrestling halfbeaks in aquaria[edit]

Wrestling halfbeaks, as well as other species in the genus Dermogenys, are quite widely traded as aquarium fish, sometimes under the "silver halfbeak" or "golden halfbeak" names, depending on the colouration of the fish. As with all freshwater halfbeaks, these fish are sensitive to sudden changes in pH and hardness, but they are otherwise adaptable, and can be maintained in anything from soft and acid freshwater through to slightly brackish water.[12][13] When first introduced into the aquarium, wrestling halfbeaks are nervous fish that tend to be timid. They may swim frantically if suddenly frightened, even crashing into the walls. However, once they are used to their surroundings, they become lively, easy to care for fish.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Dermogenys pusilla" in FishBase. November 2005 version.
  2. ^ "Dermogenys pusilla". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 19 March 2006. 
  3. ^ Schäfer F & M. Kemkes: All Livebearers and Halfbeaks, Aqualog 1998, ISBN 3-931702-77-4
  4. ^ "Pygmy Halfbeak". Archived from the original on 2006-05-07. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  5. ^ Meisner, A & Burns, J: Viviparity in the Halfbeak Genera Dermogenys and Nomorhamphus (Teleostei: Hemiramphidae). Journal of Morphology 234, pp 295-317, 1997
  6. ^ "Keeping & Breeding Halfbeaks". Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  7. ^ Earl Blewett. "Dermogenys pusillus - The Wrestling Halfbeak Livebearer". Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  8. ^ Riehl R. & Baensch H: Aquarium Atlas (vol. 1), Voyageur Press, 1996, ISBN 3-88244-050-3
  9. ^ Riehl R. & Baensch H: Aquarium Atlas (vol. 2), Microcosm Ltd, 1997, ISBN 1-890087-06-8
  10. ^ "Freshwater Fishes and the Singaporean". Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  11. ^ Sterba, G: Freshwater Fishes of the World, p. 609, Vista Books, 1962
  12. ^ "Halfbeaks By Roger Fischer". Aqua News. January–February 1994. Archived from the original on 2006-05-15. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  13. ^ Monks N. (editor): Brackish Water Fishes, TFH 2006, ISBN 0-7938-0564-3
  14. ^ Monks N: Straight to the point: the Beloniformes. Practical Fishkeeping, October 2005
  15. ^ Monks N: Life at the Top. Tropical Fish Hobbyist, November 2006
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