Last update: 11 August 2013

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Common names:


Chinese, Chinese Mandarin

蜥形副平牙 虾 虎魚, 蜥形副平牙鰕虎鱼 (xi xing fu ping ya xia hu yu - lizard-shaped para-flat-teethed goby), 大鳞 副平牙 虾 虎魚,大鱗副平牙鰕虎魚 (da lin fu ping ya xia hu yu - big-scaled para-flat-teethed goby)









saltafango serpente*

* proposed name

Parapocryptes serperaster. Sg. Laha, Peninsular Malaysia;
lateral view (above); dorsal view (centre); ventral view (below);
the bar is 10 mm long - specimen fixed in 5% formalin and preserved in 70% ethanol
(photo: G. Polgar, 2006)


Apocryptes serperaster

Richardson, 1846

(senior synonym)

Parapocryptes serperaster

(Richardson, 1846)

(senior syn., new combination)

Apocryptes henlei

Bleeker, 1849

(junior synonym)

Apocryptes macrolepis

Bleeker, 1851*

(junior synonym)

Parapocryptes cantonensis

Herre, 1932

(junior synonym)

Boleophthalmus smithi

Fowler, 1934

(junior synonym)

*Bleeker, 1851a

'Parapocryptes' comes from the Greek 'para' (near to, very similar to), and 'Apocryptes', which refers to the close similarity between these two oxudercine genera

'serperaster' is from the Latin 'serperastra' (orthopedical splint), which probably refers to the rigid locomotion behaviour of this fish when out of water

Maximum recorded length:
173 mm SL (Murdy, 1989)
230 mm TL (Rainboth, 1996)

Live colouration (Murdy, 1989):
ground colour greenish yellow dorsally and laterally, ventrally greyish, with darkened throat and isthmus; 5 large, midlateral brown spots are usually visible; often also 5 dark brown saddle-like blotches on dorsum are visible; D1 and D2 membrane yellowish basally, transparent for the rest, with elements proximally green; caudal fin membrane dusky, with yellow dorsal and ventral margin; anal fin hyaline; pectoral fin base with small red spots, fins proximally yellowish, with red ventroposterior margin; pelvic fins yellow

Colouration on preservation (Murdy, 1989, pers. obs.: Peninsular Malaysia, China):
ground colour pale brown; blotches and bars frequently retained; D1 and D2 from transparent to dusky; caudal fin dark grey with whitish margins; anal fin dark grey; pectoral fins medially dusky; pelvic fins hyaline

Diagnosis (Murdy, 1989):
longitudinal scale count 62-81; TRF 20-26; TRB 15-26; predorsal scales 23-38; caudal fin length 19.4-26.7%SL; body depth 10.5-16.5%SL; head depth 9.8-14.4%SL; head width 9.9-14.4%SL; no black pigment inside mouth; a single large pore posteriorly in interorbital region.
The genus is characterised by a greatly expanded distal head of the fourth epibranchial (see drawing)

to the best of my knowledge, the only study available is based on the stomach content of a single Malaysian specimen (Khaironizam & Norma-Rashid, 2000). This study suggests that its diet is mainly herbivorous (benthic phytoplankton), including only small amounts (<3%) of animal food items

no published study is available

Ecological notes (pers. obs.: Peninsular Malaysia):
locally abundant on lower mudflats; in western Peninsular Malaysia, abundant in catches made by beam trawl nets on mudflats at high tide, in estuarine areas and lower reaches of rivers

from Ganges delta eastward to China and Indonesia; type locality: Macao (Murdy, 1989)

Photographs of Parapocryptes serperaster:

A: a close up of Pa. serperaster (from Axelrod et al., 2004); B: a X-ray photo (photo: J. Fong, 2003, California Academy of Sciences)*; C: a specimen from Guandong, China (photo: R. Cui, 2006)*; * with permission

Drawings of Parapocryptes serperaster:








A: cephalic sensory and nasal pores of Parapocryptes serperaster: an = anterior nostril; ao = anterior oculoscapular canal pore; pio = single posterior interorbital pore; pn = posterior nostril (modified from Murdy, 1989)*; B: Apocryptes macrolepis Bleeker (Koumans, 1953); C: Apocryptes serperaster Richardson (Day, 1889); D: dorsal view of gill arches (coloured) and basihyal (white) of Pa. serperaster: 1b-4b = basibranchials (pale blue); 1c-5c = ceratobranchials (deep blue); 2i-4i = infrapharyngobranchials (yellow); 1e-4e = epibranchials (pink); 1h-3h = hypobranchials (green) (modified from Murdy, 1989)*; E: Parapocryptes macrolepis (Bleeker) (Bleeker, 1983)*; F: Parapocryptes henlei (Bleeker) (Bleeker, 1983)*; G: Boleophthalmus smithi Fowler (Fowler, 1934; 1937) - * with permission

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