Jerdon's carp, Hypselobarbus jerdoni


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Jerdon's carp, Hypselobarbus jerdoni

Matt Clarke on Jerdon's carp, Hypselobarbus jerdoni, a rarely seen cyprinid from Asia.

Common name: Jerdon's carp

Scientific name: Hypselobarbus jerdoni

Origin: Endemic to India; from Karnatka, Kerala, on the south-west tip of India, Tamil Nadu on the south-east tip, and Maharashtra, which is in the centre of the west coast of India.

Size: Up to 45cm/18", but probably smaller in the aquarium.

Habitat: This is a rheophilic cyprinid and is generally found in running water. At one end of its range it occurs in streams, while at the other end, below India's Ghats (a mountain range in southern India), it occurs in deeper water in open rivers.

Diet: H. jerdoni is omnivorous and feeds on aquatic and terrestrial plants, detritus and organisms within the water column.

Water: Neutral water conditions are probably the best choice, but barbs are usually quite adaptable.

Aquarium: A large tank is needed, ideally with lots of water movement and plenty of free swimming space. Any plants added are likely to be eaten.

Notes: Also referred to as Puntius or Barbus jerdoni, it is one of about ten Hypselobarbus species. H. jerdoni can be distinguished from other cyprinids in the former Puntius genus on the basis of the following characters: dorsal fin 4/5 of body depth; head length 5-51/4 of total length; 27-28 lateral line scales (each with a red lunule); absence of a cartilaginous covering on the inside of the jaw; 5-8 scales between the middle of the lateral line and the back; dorsal spine weak and articulated, two pairs of barbels present.

Availability: Endangered in some parts of its natural habitat, so imports are very uncommon. At least eight Hypselobarbus have been found to be endangered within certain parts of their range. These fish were on sale at Wildwoods in Enfield. They were imported from India, but may also be available via wholesaler Neil Hardy Aquatica.

Price: On sale for 12.95.