Dwarf Pygmy Goby ((Pandaka pygmaea))

Dwarf Pygmy Goby (Pandaka pygmaea)
Quick Facts:

  • Smallest fish in the world by mass
  • Primarily found in the Philippines, more specifically in Singapore and Indonesia
  • Due to its size, feeds exclusively on plankton.
  • Dwarf Pygmy Goby live in brackish and mangrove areas around aquatic plants with soft muddy bottoms.
  • Dwarf Pygmy Goby can live in an artificial marine environment, surviving best at temperatures between 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH between 7 to 8.4
  • Endangered due to industrialization and pollution
  • Oviparous
  • The Pandaka pygmaea is listed as "Critically endangered" in the IUCN (International Union for Convervation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species
  • Belongs to the Family Gobiidae (gobies), subfamily Gobionellinae, Order Perciformes (perch-likes), Class Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
  • Nearly transparent with four bands of brown spots

General Information

The Dwarf Pygmy Goby is an endangered fish primarily found in the Philippines. It's one of the smallest fish in the world by mass, the largest measuring only a centimeter and a half. The Dwarf Pygmy Goby has a nearly transparent body with four bands of brown spots, and have large, blunt heads. Due to their small size, Dwarf Pygmy Goby fish feed on plankton.

It was first found in the Malabon River in what is now part of Metro Manila in the Philippines. Since then,small samples of this species have also been collected off Culion Island, Palawan, Philippines, as well as in Bali and in Sulawesi in Indonesia, in Singapore, in Fiji, and in Papua New Guinea (As seen below highlighted in yellow)These fish are native to freshwater environments, but have also been forced into marine habitats because of industrialization and pollution. Since the Malabon River does not place high priority on protecting these tiny fish and the waters in the neighboring areas are all heavily polluted, the species is actually considered extinct in the Philippines.

Though imported to Germany, the highlighted areas are the only few habitats remanining for the critically endangered Pygmy Dwarf.

One of the many water sources that leads to the Malabon river. This creek is black from pollution

Scientific Information

The average length of the Pygmy is 8.7mm. Hardly enough to fix over your thumb nail
The Dwarf Pygmy Goby had an elongated, robust body, with females being stouter than the males with a more protuberant belly. The males also only grow up to a tiny 1.1 centimeters in length, while females can reach 1.5 centimeters. Dwarf Pygmy Goby fish have large blunt heads, and a jaw containing two rows of teeth. The first row is larger and widely spaced, while the second, inner row is minute. The Dwarf Pygmy Goby also has two dorsal fins, the first being close to the head and extending all the way to the second fin. The base of all the fins (excluding ventral fins) are highly pigmented. These fish also have between 22 and 25 scales longitudinally. The Dwarf Pygmy Goby is native to the freshwater Philippines (specifically those between 24 and 30 degrees Celcius), but has been forced to travel and exist in saltwater habitats. The Goby is oviparous, which means embryos don't grow inside the female's body.

Works Cited
"Dwarf Pygmy Goby: Great Aquarium Fish." HubPages. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://hubpages.com/hub/Dwarf-Pygmy-Goby>.
"Dwarf Pygmy Goby News Letter." Scribd. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/8452710/Dwarf-Pygmy-Goby-News-Letter>.
"Dwarf Pygmy Goby." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_pygmy_goby>.