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Hypsibarbus malcolmi (SMITH, 1945)

Goldfin Tinfoil Barb

SynonymsTop ↑

Acrossocheilus malcolmi Smith, 1945

Etymology

Hypsibarbus: from the Ancient Greek ὕψι (húpsi), and the generic name Barbus, presumably in allusion to the deep body shape in members of this genus.

malcolmi: in honour of of Malcolm Smith (1875-1958), British Museum (Natural History), for his efforts to promote knowledge of Thai zoology, especially of fishes and reptiles.

Classification

Order: Cypriniformes Family: Cyprinidae

Distribution

Occurs throughout the Mekong river system in Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, the Chao Phraya and Maeklong drainages in central and western Thailand, and some smaller watersheds in Peninsular Malaysia, but has not yet been recorded from peninsular Thailand.

Type locality is ‘Meping River at Raheng, central Thailand’.

Habitat

In the Mekong this species is migratory on a seasonal basis; during the dry season it can be found in larger river channels, whereas in wetter months it moves into smaller tributaries and flooded forests. Apparently displays a preference for rocky habitats with flowing water, and is not known to adapt to reservoirs or other artificial impoundments.

Maximum Standard Length

400 – 500 mm.

Aquarium SizeTop ↑

Suitable only for public aquaria or the very largest private set-ups.

Maintenance

Choice of décor is not as critical as water quality and the amount of open swimming-space provided.

However should you possess the means to provide and decorate a sufficiently-sized aquarium for long term care this species would look superb in a set-up designed to resemble a flowing river with a substrate of variably-sized rocks and gravel, some large water-worn boulders and driftwood branches.

Like many other species that hail from running waters it is likely to be intolerant of organic wastes and require spotless water with a high level of dissolved oxygen in order to thrive.

Water Conditions

Temperature: 20 – 26 °C

pH: 6.0 – 8.0

Hardness: 36 – 268 ppm

Diet

Wild fish are known to feed on organic detritus and aquatic macroinvertebrates, suggesting a somewhat opportunistic foraging behaviour.

In the aquarium Hypsibarbus spp. are unproblematic feeders but should be offered a varied diet comprising live and frozen foods such as chironomid larvae (bloodworm), Daphnia, and Artemia along with good quality dried flakes, granules and plenty of vegetable matter.

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

Not aggressive but may eat small fishes and molest slow-moving or timid fishes with its constant activity and vigorous feeding behaviour.

Hypsibarbus are schooling species that should ideally be maintained in groups of half a dozen or more individuals.

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexually mature females are likely to be deeper-bodied and may grow larger than males.

Reproduction

Unreported.

NotesTop ↑

H. malcolmi is distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: 12-17 (usually 14-15) rakers on first gill arch; usually 16 circumpeduncular scale rows; less than 30 lateral line scales; some branched lateral line canals, but branching not extensive, median portion of dorsal-fin dark.

Hypsibarbus species are valued food fishes throughout their range although most species are thought to be in decline due to human activity, particularly damming of rivers and agriculture.

The genus is diagnosed as follows: two pairs of barbels; strongly serrated dorsal-fin spine; 8 branched pelvic-fin rays; skin of lower lip discontinuous with lower jaw, separated by a shallow groove; anal-fin base approximately 60% HL; scales with black margins resulting in reticulated appearance; fins often with extended falcate tips; anal and pelvic fins often brightly-coloured.

References

  1. Smith, H. M., 1945 - Bulletin of the United States National Museum No. 188: i-xi + 1-622
    The fresh-water fishes of Siam, or Thailand.
  2. 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.
  3. Kottelat, M., 2001 - WHT Publications, Colombo: 1998
    Fishes of Laos.
  4. Rainboth, W. J., 1996 - Rome, FAO: 1-265
    FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes.
  5. Rainboth, W. J., 1996 - University of California Publications in Zoology v. 129: i-xiii + 1-199
    The taxonomy, systematics, and zoogeography of Hypsibarbus, a new genus of large barbs (Pisces, Cyprinidae) from the rivers of southeastern Asia.

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