The Stout Infant Fish

In keeping with my fascination for all fish, here is a lovely little creature thought to be one of the smallest fish in the world.  The Stout Infant Fish


What size hook do you use to catch this thing?

Catch and Release?






Schindleria brevipinguis is a species of marine fish in family Schindleriidae of Perciformes. Known as the stout infantfish, it is native to Australia‘s Great Barrier Reef and to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.[1]


S. brevipinguis is the second smallest known fish. The species grows to a maximum total length of 8.4 millimetres (0.33 in), with males being mature at a length of 7 millimetres (0.28 in); the smallest vertebrate species currently is the recently (Jan 2006) identified Paedocypris progenetica, while the parasitic males of the anglerfish Photocorynus spiniceps are but 6.2 millimetres (0.24 in) long. S. brevipinguis is distinguished from the similar S. praematura by having its first anal-fin ray further forward, under dorsal-fin 4, rather than 7–11 in S. praematura. The body weight is approximately 1 milligram.

The specific epithet, brevipinguis, derives from the Latin brevis (short) and pinguis (stout), in reference to the fish’s shorter, thicker body, as compared with other Schindleria species.

The first specimen was collected by Jeff Leis in 1979, but the species was not formally described until a 2004 paper (Watson and Walker).

The discovery of S. brevipinguis relegated to second place the previous smallest known vertebrate, Trimmatom nanus, a dwarf goby of the western Indian Ocean.

5 thoughts on “The Stout Infant Fish

    • No, not my finger. I have only given a fish my finger twice. The first time was when I was aboard a Soviet vessel, The Sulak, the largest fishing boat in the world. I kicked at a large rockfish on the deck near my work station and its spine dorsal spine pierced my boot and then my foot. I guess I actually gave it my foot, not my finger, though it was the middle finger that accompanied my exclamation of pain. Lesson learned: never get angry at a fish. The second time I gave my finger to a fish it was a large salmon I was preparing to smoke. Wearing gloves, I picked up the dead fish by its snout with my thumb in its mouth and one of its teeth pierced my glove and left a deep gash in my thumb that bled profusely. I packed the gash with cayenne pepper and it healed in two days. Remarkable. Lesson learned: dead fish can still bite. No doubt, this tiny fish has defenses that protect it both in life and death. Fish are remarkable.

  1. Don’t forget that this is the fish that the progressive rock band sang about in their album ‘Fragile’- The song ‘The fish ( shod leis praematurus)!

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