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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Gobioidei
Family: Schindleriidae
Genus: Schindleria
Giltay, 1934

See text.

Schindleria is a genus of marine fish. It is the only genus of family Schindleriidae, among the Gobioidei of order Perciformes. The type species is S. praematura, Schindler's fish. The Schindleria species are known generically as Schindler's fishes after German zoologist Otto Schindler (1906–1959),[1] or infantfishes. They are native to the southern Pacific Ocean, from the South China Sea to the Great Barrier Reef off eastern Australia.[2]


The infantfishes are so called because they retain many of their larval characteristics (an example of neoteny). Their elongated bodies are transparent, and many of the bones never develop. S. praematura reaches a length of 2.5 cm (0.98 in). All of the Schindleria species are reef fishes. They may be among the most common fish of the reefs, based on the results of plankton tows, but because of their transparency and small size, they are infrequently seen in life.

A recently described species, the stout infantfish, S. brevipinguis, was briefly the world's smallest known vertebrate at 8 mm (about one-third inch), smaller even than the dwarf gobies, until the new record was set by the 7.9-mm Paedocypris progenetica in early 2006 and supplanted by the 7.7-mm frog Paedophryne amauensis in 2012.[3]

Apparently several (at least eight) further Schindleria species, native to the Ryukyu Islands, are yet to be described formally.


  • Stout infantfish, S. brevipinguis Watson & Walker, 2004.[2]
  • S. pietschmanni (Schindler, 1931).
  • Schindler's fish, S. praematura (Schindler, 1930).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson, David G.; Brothers, Edward B. (1993). "Schindleria: A Paedomorphic Goby (Teleostei: Gobioidei)". Bulletin of Marine Science. 52 (1): 441–471. 
  2. ^ a b Watson, William; Walker, Jr., H. J. (2004). "The World’s Smallest Vertebrate, Schindleria brevipinguis, A New Paedomorphic Species in the Family Schindleriidae (Perciformes: Gobioidei)" (PDF). Records of the Australian Museum. Australian Museum. 56: 139–142. doi:10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1429. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Rittmeyer, Eric N.; Allison, Allen; Gründler, Michael C.; Thompson, Derrick K.; Austin, Christopher C. (2012). "Ecological guild evolution and the discovery of the world's smallest vertebrate". PLoS ONE. 7 (1). PMC 3256195Freely accessible. PMID 22253785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029797. Retrieved 11 January 2012.