Malayan Leaf Fish | Ikan Patung (Pristolepis fasciata)

A commonly caught species in Southeast Asia at one time even in urban settings, the Malayan Leaf Fish are difficult to come by these days except in remote regions.

These little fellas are aggressive can be a fun fish to catch on ultralight spinning gear, tenkara or 0-3wt fly setups.

David holding a ikan patung aka Malayan leaf fish
David with a brightly coloured ikan patung caught on fly while chasing sebarau

It prefers slow-moving, stagnant waters in medium-sized rivers, lakes, ponds, and swamps, and prefers to hang around on the banks where there is plenty of vegetation.

The ikan patung migrates to flooded areas during the rainy season and returns to its home waters during the dry season.

The mouth is tiny, thin, and slightly protractile (can be pushed forward). It is collected for the aquarium trade as well as for human consumption.

Algae, plant parts, fruits, seeds, water insects, and small crustaceans are among its favourite foods.

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