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Botia sp. aff. rostrata - A discussion

by Martin Thoene last modified Nov 17, 2006 01:05 PM



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Compilation of two articles discussing this fish, which may be an un-described species.


From: Bogdan Janiczak (boj@eti.pg.gda.pl)
Date: May 8th, 2002

May I once again, try to animate Botia lovers community to discussion concerning identity of some of the fish found within last fall shipment from India. In October, 2001 I found a couple of juvenile Botia specimens sold under the common name Golden Zebra loach (sounds familiar, don't you think so) suggesting that these are likely to be beautiful young Botia histrionica. To my surprise, after two weeks the entire group of eight specimens visually spilt into two different groups - one being real B. histrionica, and the other consisting of four fish - that looked, at least initially, like young B. rostrata. I made an early photo of the juveniles and sent in, then not revealing my doubts, to two kind guys for advice. The verdict twice was B. histrionica (for the sake of clarity I am enclosing also above mentioned photo). Yesterday, I was lucky enough to take good quality photo of two of these fish I am talking about. Take a look and them and decide. Are they really B. rostrata specimens or maybe yet another Indian species is being involved. As you probably know I keep B. rostrata in my tank for some time (since their juvenile stage) and they have always been looking differently. Also the material posted on the net usually shows this species characteristically marked with double frequently irregular sets of vertical stripes. The entire body of typical B. rostrata has beautiful golden luster. When you look at the fish of mine they have striking black horizontal patterns, the lower part of the body (just below the lateral line is white-silverish while the upper - golden/yellowish. The fish shown in the photo are approximately nine months old and have already reached the size of matured B. rostrata specimens (I keep them together in one Indian biotope tank so the comparison is straightforward - sorry no family photo for the moment :-)). When I matched all known facts and my own observation I hesitated with definite judgment. I think it would be a good moment to present the case to wider forum and gather comments and opinions from both hobbyist and professionals. Even in case these it is B. rostrata the material will provide further documentary to the limited database.

With best wishes and kindest personal regards,

Bogdan J. Janiczak

Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia histrionica or rostrata?
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia histrionica or rostrata?
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia histrionica or rostrata?


From: Bogdan Janiczak (boj@eti.pg.gda.pl) / Kamphol Udomritthiruj (bo@thai.com)
Date: August 4th, 2002


I am back again with some additional info and photos of the suspicious Botia specimens found a couple of months ago mixed with Botia histrionica. It finally appears that fish shown in the photo represent new, yet not scientifically described species of Botia that obviously exhibits some resemblance to B. rostrata species but there are also some differences that have already been pointed out in my early contribution. In the meantime I've got in touch with Kamphol Udomritthiruj and here I quote what he wrote in response:

Ah yes, I'm familiar with this mystery loach. I too have seen this and will take photos in the following week or so. They indeed look like Indian rostrata, except for two facts. First they come from Burma, and come mixed with histrionica, and two, the Burmese specimens I'm familiar with are 4-5 inches...ENORMOUS, high-contrast loaches. Significantly different from the Tenasserim Emperor Botia in that they are not yellow, different from histrionica in their double banding, and different from rostrata from their size and distribution.

As you see this summertime appears to be extremely abundant in new Botia species discoveries. I was extremely lucky, not being personally involved in fish catching or trading, that I found this species and noticed its difference with respect to earlier known fish of Botia family. The specimens of mine are young with yet not fully developed features of adult fish. When you see adult fish photos (I hope quite soon :-)), you will see how different this species is from what has been known so far. I do personally think, that this new Burmese loach exhibits some resemblance to Indian Botia rostrata and unless new full scientific description will be given I will refer it to as Botia sp. aff. rostrata.

Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)
Botia unknown03 (Botia sp.aff. rostrata)

I also decided (hope you and readers of LOL will find it useful) to provide some additional small photo gallery of this new exciting Botia sp. aff. rostrata. These are photos of yet another specimens from those portrayed in May. Feel free to use the attached photos as you wish. I do hope that soon you will get some other responses from other people involved both in hobby and business.

Sincerely,

Bogdan J. Janiczak

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