‘Penis-head’ fish discovered in Vietnam

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Un poisson portant le pénis sous le cou découvert au Vietnam

Image non datée transmise par les scientifiques vietnamiens qui montre un Phallostethus cuulong sous toutes les faces © Koichi Shibukawa-Tran Dac Dinh-Tran Xuan Loi/AFP Koichi Shibukawa

HANOI – (AFP) – A new species of fish with a penis on its head has been identified in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, researchers said on Wednesday.

Phallostethus cuulong is the newest member of the Phallostethidae family — small fish found in Southeast Asian waters that are distinguished primarily by the positioning of the male sexual organ.Male phallostethids have a copulatory organ, termed the priapium, under the throat for holding or clasping onto females and fertilising their eggs internally, according to conservationists.

“We have scientifically identified a new penis-head fish in Vietnam,” researcher Tran Dac Dinh from Can Tho University told AFP.

The fish was known to Vietnamese people in the Mekong Delta but had not been described scientifically before a team identified the species last year, he said.


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