Study of the fishes of Amoy, Part 1

Hsien Wen Wu

Table of Contents (ToC)

  1. Introduction
  2. Family Ophicephalidae


The Island of Amoy lies very near to the main land of Fukien Province. It is separated from Formosa in its East by a strait not more than 100 miles across the narrowest region and situated from Hongkong in its South about 370 miles. With such a topography, the fauna of Amoy consists, to certain extent, of quite a number of representatives from its neighbouring localities. The faunas of the latter have been hitherto surveyed by European and Japanese zoologists, but thorough study of the Ichthyology confined to Amoy remains undone. For this reason full descriptions and drawings are given to each species recorded in this paper, in order to furnish detail informations to students who are interested in Chinese ichthyology.

The fishes of Amoy must contain, as estimated, more than 200 species. This paper is the first part of a survey on the specimens collected from the Island and its vicinities by the Museum of Zoology, University of Amoy. This collection was started in 1922 by Professor S. F. Light and continued by the author till 1928. During these six years large number of specimens were brought in from the fish markets and by fishermen from their excursions to the open seas. It is expected that in continuation of this paper the rest of the species of fishes of Amoy will be worked out and the result will be published sooner or later, then the ichthyological fauna of the Island will no longer remain obscure to our zoologists.


[ ... ]

Family Ophicephalidae

58. - Ophiocephalus tadianus Jord. & Everm.

Length 175 mm. Depth 5, head 2.8 in length. Eye 7.6, postorbital portion 1.4, interorbital space 5.3 in head. 1

D. 44; P. 17; V. 6; A. 28. Scales 5-58-11.

Body torpedo-shaped, posterior part compressed. Head elongate, its dorsal profile gradually inclined anteriorly. Interorbital space flattened, more than 3 in postorbital portion of head. Eye anterior and superior, its diameter nearly equal to preorbital portion of head. Nostrils of either side well separated, anterior one tubular, in contact with upper lip, posterior one in front of eye. End of snout obtusely rounded. Mouth more or less superior, lower jaw slightly projecting, mouth angle below posterior margin of eye. A band of small teeth on outer edge of jaws and a series of larger, wide-set, cardiform teeth on palatine and inner side of lower jaw. Dorsal fin very long, commencing about midway between pectoral and ventral, its rays spine-like, gradually lengthening posteriorly. Pectoral fin rounded, its length 2.5 times interorbital space. Ventral fin inserted a short distance behind origin of dorsal, shorter than pectoral, about 1.8 times interorbital space. Anal fin similar to dorsal, commencing about midway between posterior margin of orbit and base of caudal, ending in front of posterior extremity of dorsal. Caudal fin rounded. Caudal peduncle higher than long, greatly compressed. Lateral line running along axis of body from base of caudal to origin of anal, thence upward for two rows of scales, forward 15 rows, downward one row and then forwards to gill-opening. Head covered by large shield-like scales, nine scales between orbit and preopercle. Body covered with cycloid scales.

Color in formalin brown above, paler below, with three series of black irregular patches. A black band from posterior margin of orbit to gill-opening. Cheek with irregular black patches. Top of head and basal portion of dorsal fin with black plotches.


59. - Channa formosana Jord. & Everm.

Length 188 mm. Depth 6.2, head 3.7 in length. Eye 5.5, postorbital portion 1.7, interorbital space 3.7 in head. 2

D. 45; P. 15; V. 6; A. 29. Scales 5-57-13.

Anterior part pf body subcylindrical, posterior part compressed. Head broad, its top slightly convex. Snout obtusely rounded. Eye superior and anterior, its diameter about 3 in postorbital portion of head. Nostrils of either side wellseparated, its distance 2 in eye-diameter; anterior one long and tubular, in contact with upper lip, posterior one above anterior margin of orbit. Interorbital space 2.5 in postorbital portion. Mouth terminal, oblique. Maxillary reaching nearly the posterior margin of orbit. Teeth villiform on upper jaw and cardiform on lower jaw, vomerine and palatine teeth more or less granular. Dorsal fin commencing above base of pectoral, its rays spine like, posterior rays slightly longer. Pectoral fin slightly shorter than posterbital portion of head with rounded edge. Ventral fin absent. Anal fin commencing about midway between tip of snout and base of caudal, ending in front of posterior extremity of base of dorsal fin, posterior rays slightly longer. Tip of caudal fin rounded. Caudal peduncle higher than long, greatly compressed. Lateral line interrupted at level of origin of anal fin, its posterior portion along median line of body. Head and body covered with cycloid scales.

Color in formalin dark brown above, paler below, side with v-shaped black cross bars with their apeces pointed foreward. A black large rounded spot surrounded by white area near base of caudal fin. Top of head black, cheek with two black oblique bands, margins of dorsal and anal fins dark. Young fish having a black oval spot at posterolateral region of base of pectoral fin.

This species from Amoy varies from that of Formosa in having a shallower angle of mouth and granular teeth on the vomerine and palatine bones (Oshima-Contributions to the study of fresh-water fishes of the Island of Formosa. Ann. Car. Mus. Vol. XII, No. 2-4, pp. 285-287).


[ ... ]


1 The today's scientific name of this fish is Channa maculata (Lacepede, 1802) . [] Back

2 The today's scientific name of this fish is Channa asiatica (Linne, 1758) . [] Back

Acknowledgement and Source(s)

These passages were originally in an article published under the above title in: Contributions from the Biological Laboratory of the Science Society of China , vol. 5 no.4, pp. 1-89.

© 2001 - 2004 HOME of this page