Freshwater Fish Identification

The list below are fish species caught in Malaysia. Malaysia is situated in the Central Indo-Pacific basin. There are approximately 2250 different species of fish in Malaysia, thanks to the unique geographic location and tropical climate.

Species Group: Miscellaneous freshwater fishes (ISSCAAP 13)

Common Name: Climbing Perch
Scientific Name: Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1792)
Mandarin Name: 山鯽(Shān zéi), 攀鲈 (Pān lú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Puyu, Pepuyu

Common Name: Spotted Archerfish
Scientific Name: Toxotes chatareus  (Hamilton, 1822)
Mandarin Name: 查达射水鱼(Chá dá shè shuǐ yú),
Local Malay Name: Sumpit-sumpit, Sumpit Tanda

Common Name: Banded Archerfish, Northern Riflefish
Scientific Name: Toxotes jaculatrix (Pallas, 1767)
Mandarin Name: 射水鱼(Shèshuǐ yú),
Local Malay Name: Sumpit-sumpit, Sumpit Belang

Common Name: Asian Redtail Catfish
Scientific Name: Hemibagrus nemurus (Valenciennes, 1840)
Chinese Name: 白须公 (Bái xū gōng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Baung, Sobong

Common Name: Catfish
Scientific Name: Mystus nigriceps  (Valenciennes, 1840)
Chinese Name: 白须公 (Bái xū gōng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Baung Misai, Enge enge

Common Name: Striped Catfish, Sutchi Catfish
Scientific Name: Pangasianodon hypophthalmus  (Sauvage, 1878)
Chinese Name: 苏氏口鲶 (Sū shì kǒu nián), 巴丁(Bā dīng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Patin, Patin Lawang

Common Name: Java Barb, Silver Barb
Scientific Name: Barbonymus gonionotus  (Bleeker, 1849)
Chinese Name: 蓝邦 (Lán bāng)
Local Malay Name: Lampan Jawa

Common Name: Tinfoil Barb, Goldfoil Barb
Scientific Name: Barbonymus schwanenfeldii  (Bleeker, 1854)
Chinese Name: 河蓝邦 (Hé lán bāng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kepiat, Lampan Sungai

Common Name: Beardless Barb, Redeye Barb
Scientific Name: Cyclocheilichthys apogon  (Valenciennes, 1842)
Local Malay Name: Temperas, Chemperas, Emperas, Mata Merah

Common Name: Carp, Barb
Scientific Name: Cyclocheilichthys heteronema  (Bleeker, 1854)
Local Malay Name: Temperas, Chemperas, Emperas

Common Name: Hampala Barb
Scientific Name: Hampala macrolepidota  Kuhl & Van Hasselt, 1823
Chinese Name: 水马溜鱼 (Shuǐ mǎ liū yú), 大鱗裂峽魮 (Dà lín liè xiá pí)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Sebarau

Common Name: Hard-lipped Barb, Bonylip Barb, Silver Sharkminnow
Scientific Name: Osteochilus vittatus  (Valenciennes, 1842)
Synonym: Osteochilus hasseltii  (Valenciennes, 1842)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Terbol, Terbul

Common Name: Yellowtail Rasbora, Southeast Asia Yellowtail
Scientific Name: Rasbora tornieri  Ahl, 1922
Local Malay Name: Seluang Gadang

Common Name: Mozambique Tilapia
Scientific Name: Oreochromis mossambicus (Peters, 1852)
Chinese Name: 非洲鱼 (Fēizhōu yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Tilapia, Mudjair
Local Hokkien: Hui Chiu

Common Name: Pirapitinga, Red-bellied Pacu
Scientific Name: Piaractus brachypomus (Cuvier, 1818)
Chinese Name: 短盖巨脂鲤 (Duǎn gài jù zhī lǐ), 吃人鲳 (Chīrén chāng), 淡水白鲳 (Dànshuǐ bái chāng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pacu

Common Name: Red Piranha, Red-bellied Piranha
Scientific Name: Pygocentrus nattereri  Kner, 1858
Chinese Name: 特氏臀点脂鲤 (Tè shì tún diǎn zhī lǐ), 吃人鱼 (Chī rén yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Piranha

Common Name: Slender Walking Catfish
Scientific Name: Clarias nieuhofii Valenciennes, 1840
Mandarin Name: 连鳍胡鲶 (Lián qí hú nián), 塘虱 (Táng shī)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Keli, Keli Limbat
Local Hokkien: Thor Sat
Local Teochew: Thow Sak

Common Name: Sleeper Goby
Scientific Name: Butis gymnopomus  (Bleeker, 1853)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Ubi Puntong

Common Name: Northern Mud Gudgeon
Scientific Name: Ophiocara porocephala (Valenciennes, 1837)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Ubi Belontok

Common Name: Marble Goby
Scientific Name: Oxyeleotris marmorata (Bleeker, 1852)
Mandarin Name: 笋壳鱼 (Sǔn ké yú), 顺壳鱼 (Shùn ké yú), 蓝哥鱼 (Lán gē yú), 林哥鱼 (Lín gē yú)
Local Malay Name: Ketutu, Haruan Hantu, Bakut, Ubi
Local Hokkien: Soon Hock
Remarks: The fish is very active at night.

Common Name: Vermiculated Sailfin Catfish
Scientific Name: Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus (Weber, 1991)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bandaraya, Ikan Cuci Cermin
Remarks: This species is native to South America but was caught in Skudai River in Malaysia. Probably due to escape during flood at the nearby village.

Common Name: Malayan Leaffish
Scientific Name: Pristolepis fasciata  (Bleeker, 1851)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Patung, Kepar

Common Name: Kissing Gourami
Scientific Name: Helostoma temminkii  Cuvier, 1829
Chinese Name: 吻鲈 (Wěn lú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Samarinda, Biawan, Tebakang, Temakang, Tembakang

Common Name: Three Spot Gourami
Scientific Name: Trichopodus trichopterus (Pallas, 1770)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Sepat Padi, Sepat Minyak, Sepat Ronggeng

Common Name: Giant Snakehead, Red Toman, Indonesian Snakehead
Scientific Name: Channa micropeltes (Cuvier, 1831)
Mandarin Name: 多曼 (Duō màn)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Toman
Local Hokkien: Toman

Common Name: Snakehead Murrel, Striped Snakehead
Scientific Name: Channa striata (Bloch, 1793)
Mandarin Name: 线鳢 (Xiàn lǐ), 生鱼 (Shēng yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Haruan, Toman Paya
Local Hokkien: Lay Hu

Common Name: Asian Swamp Eel
Scientific Name: Monopterus albus (Zuiew, 1793)
Mandarin Name: 黄鳝 (Huángshàn), 鳝鱼 (Shàn yú)
Local Malay Name: Belut
Local Hokkien: Mua

Common Name: Fire Eel
Scientific Name: Mastacembelus erythrotaenia  Bleeker, 1850
Chinese Name: 红纹刺鳅 (Hóng wén cì qiū)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Tilan, Tilan Bara

Common Name: Clown Featherback
Scientific Name: Chitala ornata  (Gray, 1831)
Chinese Name: 饰妆铠甲弓背鱼 (Shì zhuāng kǎi jiǎ gōng bèi yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Belida Tompok

Common Name: Guppy
Scientific Name: Poecilia reticulata  Peters, 1859
Mandarin Name: 孔雀魚 (Kǒngquè yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Gupi
Local Hokkien: Beekok Hu, Peacock




ISSCAAP = International Standard Statistical Classification of Aquatic Animals and Plants

D = Demersal finfishes
Demersal fishes lives in greater depth of oceans. They are also called bottom feeders.

P = Pelagic finfishes
Pelagic fishes are found mostly at shallow depths and their availability decreases with depth as food material and oxygen became scarce.

sp. = Species
spp. = Several Species (Species Plural)


Lauretta Burke, Liz Selig (WRI), and Mark Spalding (2002). Biodiversity of Southeast AsianCoral Reefs in: Reefs at Risk in Southeast Asia. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK. pp 13

Mohd Azmi Ambak, Mansor Mat Isa, Mohd Zaidi Zakaria and Mazlan Abd Ghaffar (2010) Fishes of Malaysia. Universiti Malaysia Trengganu, Malaysia. Penerbit UMT.

Fishbase. Available at:

Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available at: