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Botia by Igor Sheremetyev

by Martin Thoene last modified Dec 08, 2006 01:50 AM
Review by Brian Lynch

Originally posted in the Loach Forum

Note: Nomenclature mentioned here is no longer current. 

B o t i a :

Posted by Brian Lynch on Friday, 5 March 1999, at 12:22 a.m.

That's the title of the article in the March 1999 issue of TFH [Tropical Fish Hobbyist]. I read the article at least 4 times and found loads of interesting information. For those who are unable to acquire the magazine I'll let you in on what was written. If your LFS carries the magazine it's one any loach enthusiast would want, I think.

First off the pictures are great, macracantha, histrionica, morleti, lohachata, berdmorei, modesta, dario, lecontei, sidthmunki, hymenophysa, striata, beauforti are all pictured!

Here are some things I picked out of the eight page article by Igor Sheremetyev , some I question and perhaps you will as well because they are in direct conflict with discussions we have had here at LOL.

  • "The Botia genus contains about 40 species and can be divided into 3 subgenera."
  • "..true Botia have 4 pair of barbels."
  • "..fishes of the subgenus Hymenophysa have 3 pair of barbels."
  • "Fishes of the subgenus Sinibotia (three species) also have 3 barbels but lack fontanelles."

On sidthmunki:

  • "smallest species known, up to 5cm" but what about the specimens that get larger ?
  • "3 pairs of barbels" this is in direct conflict w/ what was said earlier?
  • "B. nigrolineata, one of the latest described species, was considered a subspecies of B. sidthmunki until 1987, when it was described as a distinct species by Kottelat and Chu." .."It has NO VERTICAL bars on its flanks, only a black longitudinal stripe on its flanks and a mid dorsal stripe." yeah I know this forum does not support html tags but if it did these are what I'd use:) Guess this sheds some light on the conflicting descriptions of sidthmunki eh? I still want to verify this information but it is beginning to look like my sids are not sids at all.

On macracantha:

  • "one of the longest surviving species in captivity (20 years)"
  • "will school w/ Sumatra barbs (Puntius tetrazona)"

On modesta:

  • "deep-bodied, greenish shimmer of gray body, fed fins..aka green botia"
  • " can hear distinct knocking and croaking produced by THE FRICTION OF MUSCLES OVER A SWIM BLADDER"

On lecontei:

  • "..closely related to modesta"
  • "distinguish the two by a planish color in lecontei, less deep body for lecontei, and lecontei develop a dusky spot on the caudal peduncle"

On morleti:

  • "..very compact deep body"
  • "..several more or less visible bars on its flanks" hey, just like mine:)
  • "..fairly peaceful" hey hey hey, exactly like mine, even after years of captivity:)

On lohachata:

  • "..shy, peaceful and active" Hey, nothing like the six I maintain except to say they are active.
  • "From time to time, they will swallow air, and a few seconds later they will release a chain of tiny bubbles from their anus. You can hear a buzzing sounds at this time, the fourth sound type produced by the Botia genus. this is typical for all Cobitidae, inhabitants of stagnant water bodies with an oxygen deficiency. Swallowed air is absorbed by blood vessels of the intestines." Great now I now how to get my botia to pass gas. Just deplete O2 and grab the hydraphone.

Other points: gheto and rostrata are described as two separate species. Beauforti and lucas bahi are synomous. There are great descriptions any ways to differentiate the Hymenophysa subgenera. Too many to list here. Sidthmunki are listed as being tender and water below 10dh is suggested. There is more but you all get the idea :)

Brian Lynch

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