These tiny “pikes” are real wonders of nature. The fish become only 4-5 cm long. They obtained their popular name “halfbeak”, because the upper part of the beak is only half as long as the lower one. In Dermogenys this upper half of the beak is movable. It is used by the animals to catch their prey: small flies, pollen etc. that fall on the water surface. The fish prefer to swim straight under the water surface.
Dermogenys are livebearing fish and live widespread over southeastern Asia in freshwater. The males are very quarrelsome against each other and are used sometime for fish fights like the bettas.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer