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Malayan Pikehead
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2



 

 

 

Order : Perciformes
Family : OSPHRONEMIDAE
Species : Luciocephalus pulcher
Maximum Length : 18 cm

A remarkably adapted species, the Malayan Pikehead inhabits acidic peat swamps and clear, forest streams.

It is easily identified by its elongate body shape, and the attractive lines and spots which adorn the lower part of its flanks. The eye is bisected by a horizontal line which contributes to the camouflage.

Adults often lie motionless in midwater waiting for their prey - mainly other fishes - to pass nearby. Once within range the pikefish will extend its lips and jaws to nearly a third of its body length, and quickly engulf its victim. Its highly evolved mouthparts are also used for another purpose - protecting the young which are reared in the mouth space.

The Malayan Pikehead ranges from at least Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to parts of Indonesia.


Fig 1 : Motionless at the surface of an acidic, swamp forest stream.  Singapore.

Fig 2 : Lying hidden amongst streamside vegetation.  Photographed at Panti Forest, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.


References : F1