|Cherry Barb (P. titteya)|
F. Hamilton, 1822
F. Hamilton, 1822
Puntius is a genus of cyprinid fishes known as the spotted barbs for the predominant pattern, though many have vertical black bands instead. This genus is native to South Asia and Mainland Southeast Asia, with a single species in Taiwan. Species found elsewhere (e.g., the Phillipines) have been moved to other genera such as Barbodes.
The name Puntius comes from pungti, a Bengali term for small cyprinids.
Historically, many species of Puntius have been classified in several genera, including Barbus. Despite the reclassifications, the specific epithet remains the same in these – except in cases of homonymies – as Barbus and Puntius have the same grammatical gender. The closest living relatives of the spotted barbs are the Cyprinion barbs, the Assamese kingfish (Cyprinion semiplotum), and perhaps the Capoeta barbs. These and the other "typical" barbs and barbels were formerly often separated as subfamily Barbinae, but this group is highly paraphyletic with regard to the Cyprininae and better merged there at least for the largest part (including Puntius). In particular the genus Barbonymus, containing the tinfoil barb and its relatives – for some time included in Puntius – appears to be a kind of carp that has evolved convergently with barbs.
Fishes of the genus Puntius are found in South Asia (west to Pakistan and south to Sri Lanka) and Mainland Southeast Asia, with a single species, P. snyderi, in Taiwan. The greatest species richness is in India. The maximum size for an adult of this genus is less than 25 cm (9.8 in), typically 7–15 cm (2.8–5.9 in), and many species only achieve around 5 cm (2.0 in) adult length. In appearance they may resemble miniature carp and are often brightly coloured or patterned.
These fishes are omnivorous; their diet includes small invertebrates and plant matter. Breeding is by egg scattering and takes place close to the bottom, near or within areas of dense plant growth. They do not show parental care, and adults may eat the young.
In the aquarium
These small tropical barbs are commonly kept as inhabitants of a warm water aquarium, and many species are commercially available. Breeds with elongated fins or differing colors have been produced of some of the more extensively traded species. Puntius barbs are easy to feed, taking a wide variety of foods including dried food. Note that these inquisitive fish are active and unafraid, and many species have a reputation as "fin-nippers". These are unsuitable for aquaria with slow-moving, long-finned species.
Commonly kept Puntius species include:
- Cherry barb, Puntius titteya
- Greenstripe barb, Puntius vittatus
- Onespot barb, Puntius terio
- Pool barb, Puntius sophore
- Swamp barb, Puntius chola
- Kottelat, M. (2013): The Fishes of the Inland Waters of Southeast Asia: A Catalogue and Core Bibliography of the Fishes Known to Occur in Freshwaters, Mangroves and Estuaries. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 2013, Supplement No. 27: 1–663.
- de Graaf 'et al. (2007); see Haaramo (2008a) for additional sources
- Lambert (1997): p.14, Mills (2002)
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Puntius in FishBase. April 2013 version.
- Pethiyagoda, R., Meegaskumbura, M. & Maduwage, K. (2012): A synopsis of the South Asian fishes referred to Puntius (Pisces: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 23 (1): 69-95.
- Raghavan, R., Philip, S., Ali, A. & Dahanukar, N. (2013): Sahyadria, a new genus of barbs (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from Western Ghats of India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 5 (15): 4932-4938.
- Plamoottil, M. & Abraham, N.P. (2014): Puntius viridis (Cypriniformes, Cyprinidae), a new fish species from Kerala, India. Journal of Research in Biology, 3 (7): 1093-1104.
- Krishna Kumar, K., Benno Pereira, F.G. & Radhakrishnan, K.V. (2012): Puntius madhusoodani (Teleostei: Cyprinidae), a new species of barb from Manimala River, Kerala, South India. Biosystematica, 5 (2) : 31-37.
- de Graaf, Martin; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Samallo, Johannis & Sibbing, Ferdinand A. (2007): Evolutionary origin of Lake Tana's (Ethiopia) small Barbus species: indications of rapid ecological divergence and speciation. Anim. Biol. 57(1): 39-48. doi:10.1163/157075607780002069 (HTML abstract)
- FishBase : Puntius species. Retrieved 2009-SEP-24.
- Haaramo, Mikko (2008a): Mikko's Phylogeny Archive - Cyprinidae. Version of 2008-MAR-17. Retrieved 2008-JUN-29.
- Haaramo, Mikko (2008b): Mikko's Phylogeny Archive - Puntius. Version of 2008-MAR-11. Retrieved 2008-JUN-29.
- Lambert, Derek J. (1997): Freshwater Aquarium Fish. Chartwell Books, Edison, New Jersey. ISBN 0-7858-0867-1
- Mills, Dick (2002): The Bumper Book of Tropical Aquarium Fishes (2nd ed.). Interpret Publishing. ISBN 1-84286-074-7
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Puntius.|
- Odessa Barb species profile - AquariumDomain, see: http://www.aquariumdomain.com/viewSpeciesFreshwater.php?id=6
- Article on P synderi and comparison with P semifasciolatus, see: http://zoolstud.sinica.edu.tw/Journals/45.2/149.pdf
- Genetic studies of some South Asian Puntius species, see:
- Puntius stoliczkanus http://nels.nii.ac.jp/els/contents_disp.php?id=ART0006479298&type=pdf&lang=en&host=cinii&order_no=Z00000014593846&ppv_type=0&lang_sw=&no=1203405309&cp=
- Puntius phylogenetic tree http://www.bmnh.org/PDFs/FB_04_Science.pdf
- Odessa barb - P padamya identification paper (2008), see link: