hen you think of the members
of the Bagridae family your mind wanders to the big
and nasty boys like Hemibagrus
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 years
ago as Chandramara chandramara, but
in 2001 a new genus name Rama was
erected by Ng
& Kottelat to cover
this monotypic species but it has now (2023) been
moved back to Rama
history of this species has been much confused with
Jayaram in 1981 and Mo in 1991 relating this species
to a synonym of Batasio.
Will it change in the future...who
adipose fin in R. Chandramara 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.
on a sand substrate
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
This species can be found on online searches, as Chandramara
chandramara or Rama rama, but Eschmeyer's
Catalog of Fishes has Rama chandramara as valid
Base of eastern part of Himalaya, and Sarda River
basin. Type locality: Atreyi River,
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.
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.
Care & Compatibility
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.
Females are heavier
looking and the males are more slender and have an
elongate genital papilla in front of the anus.
They do prefer live food such
as white worm and tubifex but will also accept frozen
food such as bloodworm.
Pertaining to the direction or position between the
front and side of an object. Mandibular barbels:
Pertaining to the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels).
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Having only one species, such as a monotypic family
of fishes. Villiform: Elongated cardiform teeth.
Rama:Named after the legendary Indian king
regarded as an incarnation of Vishnu.
chandramara: Hindi, Chandragupta Maurya,
a king fron northern India, founder of Maurya empire,
Fresh Water Fishes of the Indian Region. Narendra
Publishing House, 1999. Ng, H. H., The identity of Batasio
tengana (Hamilton, 1822), with the description of
two new species of Batasio from north-eastern India