his month we are visiting the Bagridae family of Asia
and a very niced marked species going by the common
name of the "Harlequin Lancer" and the scientific
name of Bagroides
is the only species in this genera (monotypic). This
is quite a rare visitor to our hobby and information
on keeping this species is not very forthcoming so
I will report on my findings from this beauty from
Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.
First thing that
you do notice is the thick yellow to cream coloured
line running from the gills to the caudal peduncle
which is a distinct identification factor for this
species. There are a couple of other Bagrids from
the Leiocassis genus that also have this
trait namely, Leiocassis micropogon and L.
poecilopterus but these two species have a very
thin midlateral line and not such a bold colouring
to the body.
the midlateral line
This species is known from the
Rokan River drainage southwards to the Musi River
driange in Sumatra, and the Barito River drainage
eastwards and northwards to the Rajang River drainage
in Borneo (Kalimantan) and found primarily in large,
turbid rivers with a moderate flow and is noted as
a species with least concern in the IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species (2019).
Distrbution:Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. Type
Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan (Kalimantan Selatan)
The Type locality is given as ‘Bandjarmassing’
which corresponds to a town now more commonly referred
to as ‘Banjarmasin’ in South Kalimantan
(Kalimantan Selatan) province, Indonesia (Borneo).
Banjarmasin is the capital of South Kalimantan,
Indonesia. It is located on a delta island near
the junction of the Barito and Martapura rivers.
As a result, Banjarmasin is sometimes called the
Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. Type locality:
Bandjarmassing, in fluviis.
The dorsal fin spine is short,
the teeth on the posterior margin pointing downward;
inner mandibular barbels never branched; labial teeth
absent. The adipose fin is long and moderately high
and has the posterior end free or occasionally adnate.
Anal fin, 13-18 rays. Caudal fin forked. Pectoral
fin has a strong spine and is toothed on the posterior
margin. Ventral fins inserted below the last ray of
the dorsal fin. Lateral line is straight and may have
a row of white fibrils.
A mottled pattern of bright
yellow and black. Colouration depends on the conditions
kept in the aquarium, the better the conditions the
more yellow and black you will see. Broad yellow to
cream midlateral line running through the body.
Care & Compatibility
Some individuals can be mildly
aggresive in the aquarium so other tankmates should
be chosen carefully as they will attack slower or
more docile fish, and also other Bagrids, especially
at night. Place in a large aquarium as this fish can
grow up to nearly 10ins S.L. All in all a good candidate
for a large aquarium.
Carnivore and predator which
will eat most aquarium prepared foods.
The median, unpaired, ventrally located fin that lies
behind the anus, usually on the posterior half of
the fish. Caudal fin: The tail. Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s)
on top of the body. Lateral line: A sensory line, along
the sides of the body. Mandibular barbels: Pertaining to
the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels). Opercle: The bony covering of the
gills of fishes. Pectoral fins: The paired fins just
behind the head. Ventral fins: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins.
With the appearance of Bagrus.
W.E. 1989 An
atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary
survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc.,
Neptune City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes,
recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and
catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Kottelat, M., A.J. Whitten, S.N. Kartikasari
and S. Wirjoatmodjo, 1993. Freshwater fishes
of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions,
Hong Kong. 221 p. Ng, H.H. 2019. Bagroides melapterus.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019.