Rama chandramara (Hamilton,
hen you think of the members of the Bagridae family your mind
wanders to the big and nasty boys like Hemibagrus wyckii
and Hemibagrus wyckioides, but there are a few inconspicuous
species, and one we are covering this month (October 2007) is
a pretty little Bagrid which some of you
may remember as Chandramara chandramara,
as this species in 2001 has had the new genus name Rama erected
to cover this Monotypic species.
The history of this species has been much confused with Jayaram
in 1981 and Mo in 1991 relating this species to a synonym of Batasio
but in 2001 Ng & Kottelat segregated Rama as a distinct
genus. The adipose fin in Rama
is much smaller than in any species of Batasio and oar-like
(a character independently shared with Neotropius and
schilbeids), and the genus is further diagnosed by the
presence of a prominent anterolateral process of the pelvic girdle
(absent in all Batasio species), and fewer vertebrae
(32–34 v. at least 35). In India the common name
for this species is the 'Asian Cory'
probably pointing to the steep head, to the insertion of the dorsal
fin, which is reminicent of the Corydoras genus of South
Depending on the substrate Rama chandramara will sport
different colour patterns as you can see from the two images:
the above on a dark base and below on a sand base. In its own
environment it inhabits, ditches, streams and canals.
Body short, compressed, abdomen rounded. Head
small, compressed. Snout obtusely rounded. Mouth subterminal, moderately
wide. Eyes large, inferior (visible from below ventral surface of
the head). Jaws subequal. Lips thin, plain, may be fimbriated or
with sensory pores. Teeth on jaws and palate in broad villiform
bands. Four pairs of barbels; one each of maxillary, nasal and two
of mandibular, all slender, shorter than head, may be coloured.
Caudal fin forked, lobes equal. Lateral line complete, with a few
pores above pectoral fin base.
This is not the easiest species to keep in the aquarium and
can prove delicate. Good water quality is a must to be able
to enjoy this small Bagrid to the full. Tank decorations would
be a planted aquarium with hiding places to make it feel more
comfortable in its surroundings. Will be happier if you can
keep them in groups of at least four as they will do better
in their own company.
Yellowish body speckled with dark to light brown spots. Broad dark
brown lateral line with two other thiner lines above and below.
All fins hyaline with dark first hard rays.
Like the South American Corydoras they are also peaceful
and and would do fine in a community aquarium with smaller compatriots
such as small Tetras and Rasboras.
They do prefer live food such as white worm and tubifex but will
also accept frozen food such as bloodworm.
|Females are heavier looking and the males are
more slender and have an elongate genital papilla in front
of the anus.
only one species, such as a monotypic family of fishes.
Elongated cardiform teeth.
Pertaining to the upper jaw. (maxillary
Mandibular barbels: Pertaining
to the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels)
Pertaining to the direction or
position between the front and side of an object.
is a legendary king of ancient India. In Hinduism, he is considered
to be the seventh Avatar of Vishnu.
|Jayaram, K.C., The
Fresh Water Fishes of the Indian Region. Narendra Publishing
Ng, H. H., The identity of Batasio tengana
(Hamilton, 1822), with the description of two new species
of Batasio from north-eastern India (Teleostei: Bagridae)
Top: Allan James
|Pimelodus chandramara, Rama rama, Pimelodus
rama, Leiocassis rama, Chandramara chandramara
|Hummingbird Catfish, Asian Cory
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