Unusual new Danio-like fish discovered

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Aquarium hobbyists in India have reported a highly-unusual Danio-like species on sale.

The strikingly coloured fish appears to be a new member of the Danio genus.

Rahul Kumar, a Practical Fishkeeping contributor, obtained specimens of the new species last week and posted images of the fish on the Singapore fishkeeping site Petfrd.com.

Kumar told Practical Fishkeeping that the fish were spotted at the facility of a collector and wholesaler in Bangalore by a friend, Adip Sajjan Raj, who informed him of the fish.

"It looks a lot like a Danio to me," Kumar told Practical Fishkeeping.

"I'd be very surprised if it turned out to be a new genus. At first glance, it looks a bit like some of the mid-sized Danios from Myanmar. It also has the 'A-stripe' mentioned by Fang as a characteristic of the genus.

"The supplier could not tell me much about the fish. All I know is that it comes from the cooler, high altitude waters of the Northern Western Ghats."

New DanioThe fish, which currently has no common name or scientific name, has markings that appear to be novel in the Danio genus. The fish have a bluish sheen and two distinct longitudinal stripes.

Says Kumar: "The lower stripe is broad, and varies from blue to black depending on the light and state of the fish. This stripe sometimes fades away to a spot just above the pectoral. The upper stripe varies from silvery yellow to bright orange, again depending on light and state of the fish.

"The base of the anal and caudal fin is bright orange, tips clear. Dorsal clear to pale yellow, with a dark stripe running diagonally across. Anal fin sometimes shows a diagonal stripe as well. Pectoral and pelvic fins pale yellow to orange."

Kumar said that the fish are currently about 1.5" in total length. They have two pairs of barbels. The rostral pair is black and about as long as the diameter of the eye, while the maxillary barbels are grey-white and extend 3/4 to the pectoral.

The fish are not yet in the trade. Said Kumar: "The ones collected so far have not survived for any significant length of time. But I would expect them to become available fairly shortly, though."

The fish does not appear to have specific water chemistry requirements, but is said to prefer cooler water. Kumar's fish have been kept below 24C for the past week since they were obtained.

Kevin Conway, a Practical Fishkeeping website contributor, who has worked on danios said: "It is difficult to confidently identify the fish as a Danio based on the photographs. Any generic assignment should preferably be based on specimen examination."