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Chitala ornata (GRAY, 1831)

Clown Featherback

May 17th, 2014 — 4:37pm

This species is also referred to as ‘clown knifefish’ in the aquarium trade. It arguably has no place in the ornamental hobby given its adult size and specialised requirements but remains inexplicably popular and an albino form has even been line-bred for the purpose.

It can be distinguished from all congeners by presence of one or more rows of large ocellated spots above the base of the anal-fin, but…

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Chitala lopis (BLEEKER, 1851)

Giant Featherback

May 17th, 2014 — 2:51pm

This species is not collected for the aquarium trade at time of writing.

In contrast to other members of the genus older juvenile and adult individuals lack dark markings on the body while the jaw is more pronounced.

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Scleropages inscriptus ROBERTS, 2012

May 17th, 2014 — 1:06pm

This species’ distribution is unclear although individuals from the aquarium trade are said to have been collected in the Tenasserim river basin in Tananthayi Region, southern Myanmar.

Type locality is ‘supposedly from Tananthayi district, Tananthayi River basin, obtained dead from aquarium fish vendor at Meik’.

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Scleropages formosus (M√úLLER & SCHLEGEL, 1840)

Asian Arowana

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species is distinguished from its Australian congeners S. jardinii and S. leichardti by possessing a lower number of lateral line scales (21-26 vs 32-36).

It occurs naturally in a number of colour forms of which three were elevated to distinct species status in 2003, but the current majority view is that all represent S. formosus pending a detailed review. Kottelat (2013) mentions that the red form may…

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Notopterus notopterus (PALLAS, 1769)

Bronze Featherback

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species is also referred to as ‘Asian knifefish’ or ‘ghost knifefish’ in the aquarium trade in the aquarium trade but arguably has no place in the ornamental hobby given its adult size and specialised requirements.

It is sometimes confused with the African species Xenomystus nigri but is easily told apart by its larger adult size and presence (vs. absence) of a dorsal fin.

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Chitala blanci (D'AUBENTON, 1965)

Royal Featherback

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is also referred to as ‘royal knifefish’ in the aquarium trade but arguably has no place in the ornamental hobby given its adult size and specialised requirements.

It can be distinguished from congeners by presence of many small, dark spots on the anterior portion of the body which merge to form oblique, irregular stripes extending onto the anal and caudal fins posteriorly.

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Chitala chitala (HAMILTON, 1822)

Indian Featherback

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species’ name has been widely misapplied in the aquarium trade and hobbyist literature, most often in reference to the Southeast Asian species C. ornata, but unlike its relative is in fact very rarely exported for ornamental purposes although its is fished and cultured for food in India.

It can be told apart from C. ornata by possessing fe…

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Osteoglossum bicirrhosum (CUVIER, 1829)

Silver Arowana

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

Given its eventual size and natural behaviour this species is largely unsuitable for the home aquarium, and we know of only a handful of private aquarists with the facilities required to house it long-term.

Unfortunately juveniles are readily available in the trade, although the scarcity of privately-maintained adults would suggest that most fail to reach their potential.

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