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Dragonets
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


 

Order : Perciformes
Family : CALLIONYMIDAE
Species : At least 188 species in 20 genera

Dragonets comprise the family Callionymidae. Fishbase lists 20 genera and 188 species in this family. They reach a maximum length of around 25 cm.

They are also known as 'Stinkfishes' because of the strong-smelling mucous in which their body is covered.

These are benthic fishes with dorso-ventrally flattened bodies and spiny fins. The pectoral and pelvic fins are splayed outwards to provide stability when the fish is resting on the seabed.

They are bottom feeders, subsisting on small invertebrates. The gill openings comprise small holes on top of the head.

These fishes are typically found on sandy or silty bottoms, often near coral reefs, however some species occur at depths of over 500 metres.

Many species are various shades of brown, but others are quite colourful and are adorned with spots and blotches of many colours.

The majority of dragonet species occur in tropical waters of Southeast Asia and the western Pacific Ocean.


Figs 1 and 2 : Smallhead Dragonet Callionymus erythraeus on shallow, sandy substrate at Changi Beach, Singapore. This species reaches a maximum length of around 10 cm and ranges from the eastern Indian Ocean to the western Pacific Ocean.


References :

Ng, H. H. (2012). The dragonets of Singapore (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Callionymidae). Nature in Singapore, 5, 27-38.