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'Puntius' everetti (BOULENGER, 1894)

SynonymsTop ↑

Barbus everetti Boulenger, 1894; Systomus everetti (Boulenger, 1894)

Etymology

everetti: named for British natural history collector Alfred Hart Everett (1848-1898), who collected the type series.

Classification

Order: Cypriniformes Family: Cyprinidae

Distribution

Type locality is ‘Poeh, Sarawak state, Borneo, East Malaysia’ and it may be endemic to Sarawak plus parts of Kalimantan Barat (West Kalimantan) province, Indonesian Borneo.

It’s said to occur on Sumatra but we’ve been unable to obtain any definitive records, and has been collected in the Natuna Besar archipelago, Riau Islands province, Indonesia, though not since the late 1980s.

Habitat

In Kalimantan it occurs in forest streams in the foothills in clear water of variable flow, though in swiftly-moving environments it tends to show a preference for quieter, marginal zones.

It’s also common in shallow habitats in water less than 15 cm deep such as forest pools.

Sympatric species include Rasbora sarawakensis, ‘Puntius banksi, and ‘P. kuchingensis.

Maximum Standard Length

100 – 120 mm.

Aquarium SizeTop ↑

An aquarium with base measurements of at least 120 ∗ 45 cm or equivalent should be the smallest considered for long-term care.

Maintenance

Not difficult to keep in a well-maintained set-up, though we recommend aquascaping the tank to resemble a flowing stream or river with a substrate of variably-sized, water-worn rocks, sand, fine gravel and perhaps some small boulders.

This can be further furnished with driftwood roots or branches, and while the majority of aquatic plants will fail to thrive in such surroundings hardy types such as MicrosorumBolbitis or Anubias spp. can be grown attached to the décor.

Since it naturally occurs in relatively pristine habitats it’s intolerant to accumulation of organic pollutants and requires more-or-less spotless water in order to thrive.

Though torrent-like conditions are unnecessary it also does best if there is a high proportion of dissolved oxygen and moderate water movement, and weekly water changes of 30-50% tank volume should be considered routine.

Water Conditions

Temperature18 – 28 °C

pH6.0 – 7.0

Hardness36 – 179 ppm

Diet

A foraging omnivore likely to feed on a variety of worms, insects, crustaceans, plant material, and other organic debris in nature.

In the aquarium it’s easily-fed but a balanced diet comprising regular meals of small live and frozen foods such as bloodwormDaphnia, and Artemia alongside good quality dried flakes and granules will being about optimal condition and colours .

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

This species makes an ideal addition to a peaceful community of riverine fishes including other similarly-sized, peaceful cyprinids plus botiid, nemacheilid, or robust balitorid loaches, for example.

If geography isn’t an issue it can actually be combined with most peaceful fishes of a size too large to be considered food and that have a bold enough disposition to not be intimidated by its size and active nature.

As always, thorough research is the best way to avoid problems when selecting compatible fish communities.

It’s a schooling species by nature so ideally 6 or more specimens should be purchased.

Maintaining it in decent numbers will not only make the fish less skittish but result in a more effective, natural looking display.

In addition, any aggressive behaviour will normally be contained as the fish concentrate on maintaining their hierarchical position within the group.

Sexual Dimorphism

Adult males develop a more intense colour pattern than females and exhibit noticeable tubercules on the head when in spawning condition.

Adult females tend to grow a little larger, are heavier-bodied, and less colourful.

Reproduction

Possibly unrecorded, but recommendations for closely-related species are as follows:

Like most small cyprinids this is an egg-scattering free spawner exhibiting no parental care.

When in good condition it will spawn often and in a mature aquarium it’s possible that small numbers of fry may start to appear without intervention.

However if you want to maximise yield a more controlled approach is required.

The adult group can still be conditioned together but an aquarium with a base measuring 80 cm x 30 cm should also be set up and filled with mature water.

This should be very dimly lit and the base covered with some kind of mesh of a large enough grade so that the eggs can fall through but small enough so that the adults cannot reach them. The widely available plastic ‘grass’-type matting can also be used and works well, as does a layer of glass marbles.

Alternatively filling much of the tank with a fine-leaved plant such as Taxiphyllum spp. or spawning mops can also return decent results.

The water itself should be of slightly acidic to neutral pH with a temperature towards the upper end of the range suggested above, and an air-powered sponge filter or air stone(s) should also be included to provide oxygenation and water movement.

When the adults are well-conditioned and the females appear gravid one or two pairs should then be introduced, and spawning should take place the following morning.

An alternative is to spawn the fish in a group with half a dozen specimens of each sex being a good number, although a larger aquarium may be necessary.

In either situation the adults will probably eat the eggs given the chance and should be removed as soon as any are noticed.

These should hatch in 24 – 48 hours with the fry free swimming around 24 hours later.

They should be fed on an infusoria-grade food for the first few days until large enough to accept microworm, Artemia nauplii, or suchlike.

NotesTop ↑

This species is uncommon in the aquarium hobby, although the scientific name is widely misapplied to ‘Puntiusdunckeri, a similar-looking species native to Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore commonly referred to as ‘clown barb’ and labelled as ‘P. everetti in the majority of available literature.

The two are quite easy to tell apart, with ‘P. everetti an overall less colourful fish possessing relatively small dark body markings, a distinctive dark blotch at the posterior base of the dorsal-fin, and 3½ scales above the lateral line.

In ‘P. dunckeri the dark body markings are significantly larger, there is no blotch at the posterior of the dorsal-fin base, and there are 4½ scales above the lateral line.

The genus Puntius was viewed as a polyphyletic catch-all containing over 100 species of small to mid-sized cyprinid for a number of years until Pethiyagoda et al. (2012) published a partial review covering South Asian members.

The majority of sub-Himalayan Puntius species were reclassified and new genera Dawkinsia, Dravidia, and Pethia erected to accomodate some of them, with the remainder either retained in Puntius or moved to the existing Systomus assemblage, though the definition of the latter was altered meaning some Southeast Asian species formerly placed there are no longer members.

It subsequently became clear that the name Dravidia was preoccupied by a genus of flesh fly, therefore the replacement name Haludaria was made available by Pethiyagoda (2013).

No species from Indochina, China, or Indonesia were included in the study meaning a significant number of former Puntius are currently classed as incertae sedis, i.e., of uncertain taxonomic placement, and this also applies to a number of South Asian species of unresolved status.

They’re perhaps best referred to as ‘Puntius‘ for the time being whereby the genus name is surrounded by quotation marks to denote its questionable usage, and that is the convention used here on SF at the moment.

Within the Southeast Asian species several species ‘groups’ were defined by Pethiyagoda et al., and ‘P.‘ everetti is included in the ‘Puntius binotatus group’, members of which are characterised by possession of both rostral and maxillary barbels plus a last unbranched dorsal-fin ray with a strongly serrated posterior margin.

The genus name Barbodes is available for the group and may be adopted in the future.

Other ‘P.‘ binotatus group members include ‘P.‘ banksi, ‘P.binotatus, ‘P.‘ sealei, ‘P.‘ dunckeri, ’P.‘ lateristriga, ‘P.‘ kuchingensis, ‘P.‘ xouthos, and  ‘P.‘ rhombeus, plus a number of species from the Philippines including those endemic to Mindanao (‘P.‘ amarus, ‘P.‘ disa, ‘P.‘ flavifuscus, ‘P.‘ herrei, ‘P.‘ joaquinae, ‘P.‘ katolo, ‘P.‘ lanaoensis, ‘P.‘ lindog, ‘P.‘ manalak, and ‘P.‘ sirang from Lake Lanao and surrounding plateau, ‘P.‘ cataractae, ‘P.‘ tumba, and ‘P.‘ umalii from elsewhere on the island), Mindoro (‘P.‘ hemictenus), and Palawan (‘P.‘ manguaoensis and ‘P.‘ bantolanensis, both endemic to Lake Manguao).

References

  1. Boulenger, G. A., 1894 - Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 6) v. 13(75): 245-251
    Descriptions of new freshwater fishes from Borneo.
  2. Ahl, E., 1929 - Teil 3. Das Aquarium Oct. 1929: 165-169
    Übersicht über die lebend eingeführten asiatischen Arten der Gattung Barbus.
  3. Alfred, E. R., 1966 - Zoologische Verhandelingen 78: 1-68
    Fresh-water Fishes of Singapore.
  4. Doi, A., T. Iwata, M. Inoue, H. Miyasaka, M. S. Sabki and S. Nakano, 2001 - Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 49(1): 13-17
    A collection of freshwater fishes from the Rayu Basin of western Sarawak, Malaysia.
  5. Kottelat, M. and E. Widjanarti, 2005 - Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 13: 139-173
    The fishes of Danau Sentarum National Park and the Kapuas Lakes area, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
  6. Pethiyagoda, R., 2013 - Zootaxa 3646(2): 199
    Haludaria, a replacement generic name for Dravidia (Teleostei: Cyprinidae).
  7. Pethiyagoda, R., M. Meegaskumbura, and K. Maduwage, 2012 - Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 23(1): 69-95
    A synopsis of the South Asian fishes referred to Puntius (Pisces: Cyprinidae).
  8. Tan, H. H. and K. K. P. Lim, 2004 - Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 11: 107-115
    Inland fishes from the Anambas and Natuna Islands, South China Sea, with description of a new species of Betta (Teleostei: Osphronemidae).

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