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Folifer brevifilis (PETERS, 1881)

SynonymsTop ↑

Barbus brevifilis Peters, 1881; Barbus bonvaloti Vaillant, 1893; Barbus szechwanensis Tchang, 1931; Barbus longirostrum Kimura, 1934

Etymology

Folifer: not fully explained by the author. Possibly derived from the Latin foli-, meaning ‘leaf’, and -ifer, meaning ‘to bear, in reference to the pronounced mentum on the lower lip in this genus.

brevifilis: from the Latin brevis, meaning ‘short, little’, and filum, meaning ‘thread, filamet’, in reference to the very short barbels.

Classification

Order: Cypriniformes Family: Cyprinidae

Distribution

This species is widely-distributed in the Mekong river system in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, Salween and Ayeyarwaddy rivers in southern China, Myanmar, and Thailand, plus various smaller basins in Vietnam and China. It has also been recorded from the islands of Hainan and Hong Kong.

Type locality is given as ‘China: sent from Hong Kong’.

Habitat

Primarily inhabits flowing middle and lower sections of major rivers and is absent from still and standing waters. It may undertake seasonal migrations in order to spawn.

Maximum Standard Length

200 – 300 mm.

Aquarium SizeTop ↑

Requires an aquarium with base dimensions of at least 240 ∗ 60 cm or equivalent.

Maintenance

The aquarium should ideally be designed to resemble a flowing stream or river with a substrate of variably-sized rocks, sand, fine gravel, and some larger water-worn boulders.

This can be further furnished with driftwood roots and branches if you wish but be sure to leave plenty of open swimming space.

While the majority of aquatic plants will fail to thrive in such surroundings hardy genera such as MicrosorumBolbitis, or Anubias spp. can be grown attached to the décor.

Like many fishes that naturally inhabit running waters it is intolerant to the accumulation of organic wastes and requires spotless water at all times in order to thrive.

It also does best if there is a high proportion of dissolved oxygen and moderate degree of water movement so external filters, powerheads, airstones, etc., should be employed as necessary.

As stable water conditions are obligatory for its well-being this fish should never be added to biologically-immature aquaria and weekly water changes of 30-50% aquarium volume should be considered mandatory.

A tighly-fitting cover is also essential since it is likely to be a powerful jumper.

Water Conditions

Temperature20 – 26 °C

pH6.0 – 8.0

Hardness18 – 215 ppm

Diet

Wild fish apparently feed on molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates, algae and organic detritus.

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

Not recommended for the general community aquarium given its adult size but can be maintained alongside comparably-sized cyprinids, catfishes and other species which enjoy similar conditions.

Sexual Dimorphism

Unreported, although nuptial females are likely to be thicker-bodied than males.

Reproduction

Unreported.

NotesTop ↑

F. brevifilis is an unsuitable subject for the majority of home aquaria, and is extremely rare in the ornamental trade.

The status of F. hainanensis, the only other species in the genus, is currently questionable, but Folifer can be distinguished from related genera by possessing a pointed snout, inferior mouth, a lower lip with a large median lobe (mentum) reaching the corner of the mouth, last simple dorsal ray ossified with serrations on the posterior edge, 42-45 +2-3 lateral line scales.

References

  1. Peters, W. (C. H.), 1881 - Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preuss[ischen] Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1880: 1029-1037
    Über eine Sammlung von Fischen, welche Hr. Dr. Gerlach in Hongkong gesandt hat.
  2. Kottelat, M., 2001 - Environment and Social Development Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region. The World Bank.: i-iii + 1-123 + 1-18
    Freshwater fishes of northern Vietnam. A preliminary check-list of the fishes known or expected to occur in northern Vietnam with comments on systematics and nomenclature.
  3. Kottelat, M., 2001 - WHT Publications, Colombo: 1-198
    Fishes of Laos.
  4. Kottelat, M., 2013 - Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 27: 1-663
    The fishes of the inland waters of southeast Asia: a catalogue and core bibiography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries.

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