Viviparous Halfbeaks


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Viviparous halfbeaks are the members of the Zenarchopteridae family. Most of them are small or moderate-sized fishes. Similar to the Hemiramphidae, they have distinctive jaws, in which the lower jaws are significantly longer than their upper jaws. Zenarchopteridae practice internal fertilization and the young are born live. They possess external paired olfactory organs each consisting of a small cone-like papillae also called nasal barbel. The male and female of the same species have obvious differences.

Viviparous halfbeaks are mostly found in Indo-West Pacific estuarine or freshwater. They are frequently found on the water surface. Most species feed on small floating larvae and adult insects that have drifted by or landed onto the water surface.

There are 5 genera and about 60 species of Zenarchopteridae worldwide. Malaysia has about 3 genera and about 10 species.


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Scientific Name: Dermogenys collettei  Meisner, 2001
English Name: Pygmy Halfbeak, Malayan Pygmy Halfbeak
Local Malay Name: Ikan Julong, Jolong-jolong
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาเข็มภาคใต้ (Plā k̄hĕm p̣hākh tı̂)
Local Hokkien: Chui Chiam
Main Identification Features: Long, slender, cylindrical with the lower jaw extended into a long beak. No fleshy tip on the elongated lower jaw. Anal fin originates before dorsal fin.
Size: Maximum total length to about 7 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Freshwater and brackish waters. Found near the surface of water of river banks. Feeds primarily on larvae and insects. Viviparous, give birth to live young.









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