Rohtee ogilbyi

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Matt Clarke looks at Rohtee ogilbii and explains how to tell the difference between it and the similar looking Osteobrama species.

Common name: Vatani rohtee

Scientific name: Rohtee ogilbii Sykes, 1839

Origin: Known only from India. The type specimens came from the Krishna and Godavary river systems in South India.

Size: Adults are very large at around 50cm/20" in the wild. Aquarium specimens are likely to remain a little smaller, but you're still looking at a typical size of well over a foot in length.

Diet: No data, but probably a herbivore. Large cyprinids are rarely problematic to feed and usually accept pellets and flakes readily.

Aquarium: This is a shoaling species (at least while young) so should be kept in a group if possible, ideally in a very large aquarium with lots of open water for free swimming. Given the likely adult size, the absolute minimum for this fish must be over 8' x 30" x 30", and ideally bigger.

Notes: There's currently only one valid species in the Rohtee genus. Rohtee is a close relative of Osteobrama, and the two are very easy to confuse. Some species of Osteobrama, and Rohteichthys microlepis, have previously been placed in the Rohtee genus, but it's monotypic at the moment.

Identification: Very easy to confuse with Osteobrama, which is what I thought this was when I first saw it. Rohtee have some subtle differences to look out for, including a strongly serrated dorsal spine, and a procumbent predorsal spine, which looks a bit like a ridge in front of the dorsal. R. ogilbii should also have no barbels; three dorsal spines and eight rays; 13 anal rays and three spines; a forked tail and 55 lateral line scales.

Availability: This species has been turning up in imports from India sporadically over the past couple of years, and isn't commonly seen. We spotted these ones for sale at Frisby Aquatics in Hull.

Price: Small ones are very cheap at only a few quid each.