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 America.
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.
Having only one species, such as a monotypic family of fishes.
Villiform: Elongated cardiform teeth.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Mandibular barbels: Pertaining to the lower
jaw. (mandibular barbels)
Anterolateral: 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.
K.C., The Fresh
Water Fishes of the Indian Region. Narendra Publishing House,
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)
Rama rama, Pimelodus rama, Leiocassis rama, Chandramara chandramara
|Hummingbird Catfish, Asian
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