Matt Clarke on the Hora danio, Devario shanensis.
Common name: Hora danio.
Scientific name: Devario shanensis (Hora, 1928).
Origin: Myanmar (Burma). According to museum records, this species was first collected in 1997 by Fang Kullander at Lawe Pyat stream, in the village of Hong Lic, in the Myitnge area of the northern Shan States of Myanmar.
It s also been collected from the Dot Tha Ra Ti river by Britz and Roesler, and near the waterfall at Man San by Tin Win. There are reports of shanensis outside Burma, including records from the Salween basin and in Thailand, but Kullander considers these questionable. Collectors may have confused the fish with maetaengensis.
Diet: Flake and frozen bloodworm, Daphnia and cyclops.
Water: Around neutral pH, but keep the temperature less than 25C/76F.
Aquarium: Ideal community fish despite its rarity in the trade. Keep a shoal of six or more in a 90cm/36+ aquarium with plenty of free-swimming space and a fast current. They are active swimmers.
Sexing: Females become deeper and plump with eggs when ready to spawn. Males are slimmer and more colourful.
Identification: These are really tricky to tell apart from Devario maetaengensis " even for taxonomists. The differences between the two are very subtle, so if you don t know the collection locality, you could get them mixed up.
Both species are on sale here. D. maetaengensis tends to be a little more copper-coloured, stockier, with a greater body depth and a stouter caudal peduncle than shanensis.
The original description of maetaengensis says that shanensis has a cleithral spot which is absent in maetaengensis.
D. maetaengensis also has a complete lateral line with 31-35 scales, while shanensis has an incomplete lateral line with 23-25 scales.
Later work by Kullander also contradicts this and says that the lateral line of shanensis can be either complete or incomplete, and gives different numbers of scales.
You can find out more about this species on Pete Cottle s excellent new danionin website www.danios.info
Availability: On sale at Frisby Aquatics in Hull as Devario maetaengensis. I wouldn t bet on it " I strongly suspect that they are probably shanensis rather than maetaengensis.
Price: Around 3-4 each at the moment.
This article was first published in the January 2006 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine.