Matt Clarke looks at a very rarely seen cyprinid related to the Grass carp - Amblypharyngodon mola.
Common names: Mola carplet, Moilla, Pale carplet
Scientific name: Amblypharyngodon mola (Hamilton, 1822)
Origin: Very widespread in south east Asia having been reported from Myanmar, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Size: Around 20cm/8".
Water: Little published data available, but reportedly a tropical species.
Diet: Omnivorous with a penchant for plant matter. Large cyprinids are rarely problematic to feed. Should take pellets and frozen peas readily.
Aquarium: According to Menon the species is found in a range of habitats from ponds and streams to paddy fields. Like its relatives, this needs to be kept in a plant-free aquarium, furnished with smooth boulders and plenty of free swimming space. A small group could be kept in a 150cm aquarium alongside some other medium to large fishes.
Breeding: The species is an egg scatterer which breeds three times each year, releasing around 500 eggs. The species is a food fish produced in aquaculture, so the specimens on sale here now may be captive bred.
Notes: The name Amblypharyngodon comes from three Greek words (amblys, pharyngx and odous) and roughly translates to dark pharyngeal teeth. The genus contains another five species: A. atkinsonii; A. melettinus; A. chulabornae; A. curacao and A. microlepis.
Availability: This is the first time I have seen this species on sale in the UK. These fish were on sale at the excellent Wildwoods Water Gardens in Middlesex in June 2006.
Price: Expect to pay £10-20.
This article was first published in the Christmas 2006 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine.