Dario sp. 'Pyjamas'


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The stunning Dario sp. 'Pyjamas' is a perfect example of the phrase: "small is beautiful". Stefan van der Voort has the details on this lovely little badid.

Common names: Pyjama dario, Dario sp. ‘Pyjamas’, Dario sp. ‘Black Tiger’.
Scientific name: Undescribed.
Origin: Myanmar.
Size: About 32mm/1.3” in males, 28mm/1.1” in females.

Water: Not picky badids, they do well in most kinds of tapwater and anything between pH 7.0-7.6 and GH 4.0-14 is accepted — with lower numbers most advisable since they resemble those of this fish’s natural habitat.

Water temperature should be 23-25°C/73-77°F, though colder periods can be welcome as it can get quite cool in native Myanmar.

Aquarium: With them being so small the tank doesn’t have to be too large and one 50-60cm/20-24” will do fine for a small group where there’s more females than males. When planting and decorating think along the lines of rocks and wood, as they provide useful hiding places whenever needed. A slow current might not be unwelcome too.

Diet: Feed both live and frozen, but not dry foods. Experiment with different types of food to see what particular specimens will take. For sure they’ll appreciate Artemia, glassworms, small Mysis and mosquito larvae.

Breeding: Like the other Dario species D. sp. ‘Pyjamas’ is an open space breeder and eggs are scattered all over. Plant the tanks densely or remove the parents after spawning to either raise a few or most of the brood.

Once the fry are free swimming they can take really small foods, but be careful with larger foods because the newborns are very small. Once they’ve grown a tad switch to freshly hatched Artemia, and from there on it shouldn’t be too hard to raise them to adulthood.

Do make regular water changes in the fry tank!

Notes: Whether they represent a new species of Dario has yet to be determined and what information is available seems to feed both opinions.

Alexander Dorn, the most notable Dario breeder I know, reports that despite them living together with D. hysginon they are a different body shape and grow larger too. The most striking difference is that females have vertical bars — a feature unheard of in Dario.

They also refuse to crossbreed, which strengthens their case for being considered a new and separate species.

Adult coloration: The image here of a male speaks for itself, as words do not grasp its beauty!

Females look more light and dark brownish. The dark spots on the head are also present, as are reddish vertical bars on the flanks, although more faint and less colour intense.

The same goes for the fins. They are more hyaline to brownish rather than the bright red so obvious in male specimens. The abdomen in males is concave as opposed to convex in females.

Availability: Becoming scarcely more available in Europe, but available in Asia for some time.

This item first appeared in the Christmas 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.