The non-native freshwater fishes of Singapore : An annotated compilation

Heok Hui TAN*, Kelvin Kok Peng LIM, Jia Huan LIEW, Bi Wei LOW, Rayson Bock Hing LIM, Jeffrey Teik Beng KWIK, Darren C.J. YEO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 123 species of non-native freshwater fish, including seven possible hybrids, are recorded from the inland waters in Singapore. The majority (84 species, 68.3%) are from four families: Cyprinidae (37 species, 30.1%), Cichlidae (30 species, 24.4%), Osphronemidae (9 species, 7.3%), and Poeciliidae (8 species, 6.5%). Of these, 42 species—mainly cichlids (12 species)—are established in Singapore. The likely pathways of introduction and pertinent conservation issues are briefly discussed. Notes on local distribution, species used for biological control, dubious records, early records of native fish species, ornamental fish trade and aquacultural species are also provided. An addendum is included for four more species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-195
Number of pages46
JournalRaffles Bulletin of Zoology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Peter Ng KL, the late Navjot Sodhi, and Hugh Tan TW, for providing the initial impetus and framework to gather baseline aquatic data from the impounded reservoirs in Singapore; Alvin Lok SL, Tan Kai-xin, Ng Ting Hui, Ng Heok Hee, Norman Lim T-L, Zeng Yiwen, Kenny Chua WJ, Daniel Ng JJ, Jonathan Ho IK, Martyn Low EY, Ng Pei Xin, Mary Rose Posa, Zeehan Jaafar, Lim Swee Cheng, Hwang Wei Song, Lim Haw Chuan, Esther Clews, Jeremy Yeo, for assistance with fieldwork and companionship in the field; Yang SL (retired), Low E-wen and Quek Boon Shan, for assistance and logistical support from PUB; Andy Yap (Qian Hu), for verifying the Asian Arowana identity; Tan Soo Ha, Nicole Chin, and Patrick Yap, for assistance with ornamental fish trade aspects and specimens; Looh CW, for providing Fig. 120; Martyn Low EY, for assistance with locating obscure references; Rajeev Raghavan, Cai Yixiong, Darren Sim ZH, Meryl Theng, Zhou Hang, and Steve Wozniak, for providing recent fish records; HH Ng and Z Jaafar, for providing critical comments and reviews. We would also like to thank all the PUB site staff at all the reservoirs for all their support. Funding from LKCNHM, an MOE ARF Tier 1 grant (NUS grant no. R-154-000-633-112), an Ah Meng Memorial Conservation Fund grant (R-154-000-617-720), and PUB Singapore’s National Water Agency (R-154-000-619-490, R-154-000-A20-490), to carry out the research work is acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© National University of Singapore.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Alien species
  • Aquaculture
  • Aquarium/ornamental trade
  • Forest streams
  • Freshwater swamp
  • Introduction pathway
  • Reservoirs
  • Southeast Asia
  • Urban waterways


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