Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found in rivers, streams, canals and ditches (Ref. 12693). Occurs in medium to large-sized rivers and enters flooded fields (Ref. 12975). In east Kalimantan, Indonesia a temperature range of 20.4-33.7°C was recorded for this species (Ref. 6129). Largely herbivorous, consuming aquatic macrophytes and submerged land plants, as well as filamentous algae and occasionally insects (Ref. 12693). Also feeds on small fishes (Ref. 12693), worms and crustaceans (Ref. 7020). Usually marketed fresh (Ref. 12693).
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Distribution

Range Description

Recorded from Asia; the Chao Phraya basin in Thailand; from the Mekong basin in Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam; Malaysia (Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak); Brunei; and Indonesia (Sumatra and Kalimantan).

Introduced in Singapore, USA (Florida), Portugal, Spain and possibly elsewhere.
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Southeastern Asia; presumed aquarium release in the Iberian Peninsula.
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Asia: Mekong and Chao Phraya basins, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 3; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 5
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Size

Max. size

35.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 30857))
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Diagnostic Description

Distinguished from other species of the genus in having a red dorsal fin with a black blotch at the tip, red pectoral, pelvic and anal fins, red caudal fin with white margin and a black submarginal stripe along each lobe, and 8 scale rows between dorsal-fin origin and lateral line (Ref. 27732). Large individuals silvery or golden yellow in life with its dorsal fin red and caudal fin orange or blood-red (Ref. 2091).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in rivers, streams, canals and ditches (Rainboth 1996); it occurs in medium-sized rivers, especially tributaries, and enters flooded fields (Taki 1978). It is largely herbivorous, consuming aquatic macrophytes and submerged land plants, as well as filamentous algae and occasionally insects (Rainboth 1996). It also feeds on small fishes, worms and crustaceans.

It requires flowing water and would not be expected in reservoirs, but is found in still water in Singapore where it has been introduced.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; pH range: 6.5 - 7.0; dH range: 10
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Migration

Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Feeds mainly on insects (Ref. 13497).
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Diseases and Parasites

White spot Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Ulcerative Rhabdovirus Syndrome. Viral diseases
  • Christensen, M.S. 1991 Biological and socioeconomic investigations into the development of the freshwater fishery in east Kalimantan, Indonesia and into the suitability of the tinfoil barb, Puntius schwanenfeldii (Blkr. 1853), Cyprinidae for floating cage culture. University of Hamburg, Germany. 341 p. Ph.D. Thesis. (Ref. 6130)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=6130&speccode=4765 External link.
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Bacterial Infections (general). Bacterial diseases
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Barbonymus schwanenfeldii

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CCC------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CCAGGGTTCGGAATTATCTCTCACGTTGTAGCCTACTACTCAGGTAAAAAA---GAACCATTTGGATACATAGGAATAGTTTGAGCTATGATGGCTATCGGCCTTTTAGGGTTTATTGTATGAGCCCATCACATGTTCACTGTTGGAATAGACGTGGACACTCGTGCATACTTTACATCTGCAACAATAATTATCGCAATTCCAACAGGTGTAAAAGTATTTAGTTGACTG---GCCACACTCCATGGAGGA---TCTATTAAATGAGAAACACCAATACTATGAGCCCTAGGGTTCATTTTCCTATTCACAGTAGGAGGGCTAACAGGAATTGTTTTATCCAACTCATCACTCGATATTGTTCTTCATGATACCTACTACGTTGTTGCACACTTCCACTACGTA---TTATCAATAGGTGCCGTATTCGCCATTATAGCAGCCTTCGTACAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Barbonymus schwanenfeldii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Allen, D.

Reviewer/s
Kullander, S.O., Rainboth, W., Ng, H.H., Kottelat, M., Baird, I. & Smith, K.

Contributor/s
Fisher, J.

Justification
A widespread species without threats across its range, it is assessed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
There is no information available. In the Sesan basin, it is impacted by dams.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is not thought to have threats across its range. Populations have declined as a result of dams in parts of its range.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None required.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial; bait: occasionally
  • Christensen, M.S. 1991 Biological and socioeconomic investigations into the development of the freshwater fishery in east Kalimantan, Indonesia and into the suitability of the tinfoil barb, Puntius schwanenfeldii (Blkr. 1853), Cyprinidae for floating cage culture. University of Hamburg, Germany. 341 p. Ph.D. Thesis. (Ref. 6130)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=6130&speccode=4765 External link.
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Wikipedia

Tinfoil barb

Tinfoil barb in an aquarium
A school of tinfoil barbs in an aquarium

The Tinfoil Barb (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii) is a tropical Southeast Asian freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae. This species was originally described as Barbus schwanenfeldii by Pieter Bleeker in 1853, and has also been placed in the genera Barbodes and Puntius. The specific epithet is frequently misspelled schwanefeldii.

Nowadays it is usually placed in the genus Barbonymus, which was only established in 1999. It is the genus' type species, and indeed seems to represent a quite distinct lineage of large "barbs". It is not very similar to the barbels which are the core of the genus Barbus, and though closer to these than to some African barbs, they seem to be closer still to the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and to Cyclocheilichthys than to either of the aforementioned.

It is distinguishable from other species of the genus in having a red dorsal fin with a black blotch at the tip, red pectoral, pelvic and anal fins, red caudal fin with white margin and a black submarginal stripe along each lobe, and 8 scale rows between dorsal-fin origin and lateral line. Large individuals are silvery or golden yellow while alive with its dorsal fin red and caudal fin orange or blood-red. It grows up to 14 inches (35 cm) in length. Tinfoil Barbs have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years.

Originating in the Mekong and Chao Phraya basins of Thailand, and Sumatra, Borneo, and Malayan peninsula, the tinfoil barb is found in rivers, streams, canals, and ditches. It also enters flooded fields. Its natural habitat is in water with a 6.5–7.0 pH, a water hardness of up to 10 dGH, and a temperature range of 72–77 °F (22–25 °C). In Indonesia, a temperature range of 20.4°C to 33.7°C was recorded for this species. It is largely herbivorous, consuming aquatic macrophytes and submerged land plants, as well as filamentous algae and occasionally insects. It also feeds on small fishes, worms, and crustaceans.

The tinfoil barb is commercially important in the aquarium hobby trade, as well as commercial aquaculture, subsistence farming, and occasionally as bait. It is usually marketed fresh.

There are no obvious distinguishing characteristics used to determine the sex of the fish. They reproduce by egg scattering of several thousand eggs per spawning. They are not often bred in captivity for the aquarium trade due to their large size.

In the aquarium[edit]

The tinfoil barb is a schooling species that prefers to be placed with a number of its own species. It prefers living in water with strong currents similar to those found in their native streams. It is also recommended that they be kept with fish of similar size or larger. Many unwary buy young specimens and find out too late how large the tinfoil barb can grow. The tinfoil barb is often seen in large aquaria as companions to large cichlids e.g. the oscar cichlid, Astronotus ocellatus. The tinfoil barb is an active, peaceful species that spends most of its time in the mid-level and bottom of the water. A greedy eater, it will attempt to fill its mouth with as much food as possible during feedings. In captivity, it will eat almost anything provided to it.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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