Dwarf pygmy goby

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Dwarf pygmy goby
Papyg u0.gif
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Gobiidae
Subfamily: Gobionellinae
Genus: Pandaka
Species: P. pygmaea
Binomial name
Pandaka pygmaea
Herre, 1927
Pandaka pygmaea on a 2013 stamp sheet of the Philippines

The dwarf pygmy goby or Philippine goby[2] (Pandaka pygmaea) is a tropical freshwater fish of family Gobiidae. It is one of the smallest fish species in the world by mass, and is also one of the shortest freshwater fishes. Mature males can reach up to 1.1 centimetres (0.43 in) SL, while the females can grow up to 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) SL. Average weight is from 4 to 5 milligrams (0.00014 to 0.00018 oz). It is known as bia and tabios in the Philippines.[3][4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

P. pygmaea is primarily a Philippine species that was endemic in the rivers of Malabon, Metro Manila. It used to frequent shady river banks in Rizal Province of Luzon, Philippines. It has also been collected in the sea at Culion Island, near Palawan, Philippines. It also thrives in brackish waters and mangrove areas of Indonesia and Singapore (1992). It had been imported into Germany in 1958.[3][4]

Dwarf pygmy gobies survive in demersal, freshwater, brackish and marine water environments at a pH ranging from 7.0–8.4, a dH range of 30, and at tropical temperatures measuring from 24 to 30 °C (75 to 86 °F).[3][4]

Appearance and anatomy[edit]

A colorless and nearly transparent species, the dwarf pygmy goby has a moderately elongated and robust body. Males are slender with nearly straight dorsal and ventral profiles, while the females appear stouter with the dorsal profile slightly curved, the belly protuberant, and the ventral outline strongly arched.[3][4]

The head of the P. pygmaea is large and blunt. The head and nape are naked. The upper and lower profiles converge and are pointed if viewed from the sides. The head is characteristically broader than deep. The head is very short, broad and rounded. The mouth is very oblique, with a projecting lower jaw and chin. The posterior angle of the maxillary extends beneath the anterior part of the eye, up to the middle of pupil. It possesses two rows of teeth in each jaw. The outer row of teeth inside the upper jaw is larger and more widely spaced, while the inner row is characteristically minute. The first dorsal fin is low, much in advance of the second dorsal fin but not reaching the second dorsal fin when depressed. The pectoral and ventral fins are pointed, with the latter about as long as the former or longer. The anal papilla is very short and rounded in females, but is longer and very slender in males.[3][4]

P. pygmaea have dark spots, which forms 4 cross-bands, over the sides of its body. The bases of the fins are heavily pigmented, except for the ventral fins. It has 22 to 25 scales in longitudinal series.[3][4]


The species is considered vanishing or extinct in the Philippines due to polluted local waters or land reclamation projects.[3][4]


This species feeds on plankton.[3][4]


P. pygmaea is an oviparous species.[3][4]


Pandaka pygmaea was once portrayed on a Philippine ten centavo coin where, uniquely for a wildlife portrayal on coinage, it is depicted at life-size. The genus name is derived from the Filipino word pandak, meaning "dwarf" or "short of stature".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ World Conservation Monitoring Centre 1996. Pandaka pygmaea. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.>. Downloaded on 13 September 2013.
  2. ^ Animals. pawnation.com
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pandaka pygmaea (Herre 1927), Guide to the Philippine Flora and Fauna, Band IX, ISBN 971-10-2627-9 (undated), retrieved on: July 14, 2007
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2017). "Pandaka pygmaea" in FishBase. February 2017 version.
  5. ^ "Pandak". WikaPinoy.com. 

External links[edit]