Last update: 07 May 2013

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Common names:



chewa bele, chiring, dali chewa





Chinese Mandarin

棘平牙虾虎魚, 棘平牙鰕虎鱼 (ji ping ya xia hu yu - spined flat-teethed goby)









saltafango bato*

* proposed name

Apocryptes bato. Calcutta, India;
lateral view (above); dorsal view (centre); ventral view (below);
the bar is 10 mm long - specimen fixed and preserved in 75% ethanol (photo: G. Polgar, 2006)


Gobius bato

Hamilton, 1822

(senior synonym)

Apocryptes bato

(Hamilton, 1822)

(senior syn., new combination)

Apocryptes bata

(Hamilton, 1822)


Apocryptes batoides

Day, 1876

(junior synonym)

Parapocryptes batoides

(Day, 1876)

(junior synonym)

bato refers to a local Indian name, 'bhato' (Hora, 1934; Murdy, 1989)

Maximum recorded length:
141 mm SL (Murdy, 1989)
260 mm TL (Rahman, 1989)

Live colouration (Murdy, 1989):
ground colour dorsally pale green with numerous black speckles, laterally greenish to silvery, ventrally white (original description by Hamilton, 1822, in Murdy, 1989)

Colouration on preservation (Murdy, 1989, pers. obs.: India, Myanmar):
ground colour yellow brown to brown, with 6-7 narrow, darker vertical stripes or dusky blotches on sides in some individuals; fins translucent

Diagnosis (Murdy, 1989):
total elements of D2 21-23; total elements of anal fin 20-24; head length 21.9-23.9%SL; caudal fin length 22.6-32.9%SL; dorsal fins never contiguous.
The genus is characterised by the presence of small cycloid scales on snout

no published study is available

no published study is available

Ecological notes:
locally abundant on higher mudflats (Islam et al. 2006)

from the east coast of India to Burma; type locality: Ganges Delta, India (Murdy, 1989)

this species is apparently extensively farmed and consumed in Bangladesh (Islam et al., 2006). Nonetheless, these authors reported an invalid name: Apocryptes bato (Bleeker, 1874); therefore, their identification should be verified (see also above: Ecological notes).

The diagnostic trait of the presence of scales on snout is shared also by Periophthalmodon schlosseri and Pn. freycineti; in these two later species though the scales are approximately 5 times larger (Murdy, 1989)

Photographs of Apocryptes bato:


A: a specimen fixed and preserved in 95% ethanol; the bar is 10 mm long (photo: G. Polgar, 2006); B: a shot of A. bato in aquarium (photo: K. Lim, in Larson & Lim, 2005)*; C, D: close-ups of A. bato in aquarium (photo: F. Schäfer, 2002); E-J: other shots of A. bato in aquarium; E: an individual buried into the sand; F: a subadult; G: an adult; H: a feeding individual; J: a close-up (photos: H. Horsthemke; fishes collected by Heiko Bleher, Hooghly River estuary, 1993) - * with permission

Drawings of Apocryptes bato:





A: cephalic sensory and nasal pores of Apocryptes bato: an = anterior nostril; ao = anterior oculoscapular canal pore; pn = posterior nostril (modified from Murdy, 1989)*; B: Apocryptes bato (Hamilton) (Cuvier and Valenciénnes, 1837); C: Apocryptes batoides Day (Day, 1876); D: Gobius bato Hamilton (Hamilton, 1822) - * with permission

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