Where Is The Smallest Fish Found In The Philippines? The Philippines has 7,641 islands spanning 300,000 square kilometers of territory. It is divided into three islands naming Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, respectively. It is reported that the Philippines has about 330 of freshwater fish and most 65 endemic species lies in the single lakes that is why the Philippines is known as the world’s center of marine biodiversity along with the Malay archipelago, Australia, and Papua New Guinea

Where is the smallest fish found in the Philippines? The Philippines’ smallest fish called “sinarapan” can be found in the province of Bicol, in the Lake Buhi and Lake Bato too. Sinarapan is as tiny as 1.2 millimeters, making it the world’s smallest fish and it could grow up to 2.5 centimeters long.

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As you read on, you will be able to learn more about “sinarapan” and why it’s considered endangered despite its small figure.

Unique Appearance And Habitat

Sinarapan has a unique appearance because of its translucency with large black eyes showing the only color. Experts say that it has an opaque with few dark or black spots that are sprinkled over sides, back and head. Its iris is deep black; the pupil is white; the caudal fin is crossed barred by many rows of dark brown while the other fins are colorless. In some specimens, its snout is black; vertical stripe under its eyes and a row of dark spots at its anal fin.

It is said to be that the male sinarapan are smaller than females. Males usually have a maximum length of 13.5mm and are considered mature enough when under 10mm in length. At times, ripe females are a little over 11mm long while the largest are recorded to be at 14mm in length.

This tiny fish occurs in a vast number of lakes near the shoreline with at least 10-20 meters of water in deep length. Tough they can be seen near the shoreline, they can’t be caught easily because thick masses of aquatic plants protect them.


Experts say that sinarapan breeds throughout the year and that eggs float in the surface of the lake covering large areas. On sunny days in March and April while collected specimens in the latter part of September and January were breeding. Once the egg hatched, the youngest swim first at the surface but will go to the bottom shortly after for them to live.

Sinarapan As Dish

Sinarapan is now considered extinct due to overfishing because they believed that it is rich in calcium. The uniqueness of its taste has used by Bicolanons to prepare some different special dishes. They commonly sauté it with oil and are flavored by tomatoes and onions. Bicolano also gave it a new touch of taste by using chilli to make it spicy that goes very well with rice. Another dish is the sinarapang paksiw which are loved by people who visit Camarines Sur.


In general, sinarapan proved its efficiency because of many different dishes that can be made out of it. From the word “sarap’ which means delicious, this fish not only proved that it has more to offer but with the calcium it gives. That is why there’s no doubt. Many are drown to catch this fish because of its uniqueness aside from its appearance. Though fishing is the main job in the Philippines and is encouraged to do so, still conserving its life should be recognized.