|Gold barbs (var. 'Schuberti')|
Barbodes semifasciolatus, the Chinese barb, is a species of cyprinid fish native to the Red River basin in southeast Asia where they occur in fresh waters at depths of 5 metres (16 ft) or less. This species can also be found in the aquarium trade where it is an extremely popular fish.
Adults of this species have highly arched backs and a short pair of barbels on the upper jaw at the corners of the mouth. The back is light to reddish brown, the sides are metallic green or yellow-green, with a brassy or golden sheen below. The belly is whitish, turning orange-red in males at mating time. Females can be distinguished by their dull colors and their overall bulk.
An egg-scatter, adult barbs will usually spawn around a hundred eggs, although up to 400 eggs have been observed from an exceptional female. This breeding occurs at the first light in the early morning.
In the aquarium
The popular gold strain P. semifasciolatus var. Schuberti (gold barb or Schuberti barb) was developed by hobbyist Thomas Schubert of Camden, New Jersey in the 1960s through selective breeding. For many years it was thought to be a distinct species but is in fact a selected sport of the indigenous (green) species which is rarely found in aquaria. The gold barb is an active, mildly aggressive schooling species that spends most of its time in the mid-level and bottom of the water. Its typical lifespan in captivity is around four to six years. This gold fish is often used in community tanks by fish keeping hobbyists. It breeds readily in outdoor pools and free-standing ponds during summer months, and withstands cooler temperatures better than other tropical fish. However, it does not stand the cold as well as its original plainer China barb counterparts.
Albino variants of the bold barbs have been produced by Dennis Wilcox in the 1970s in the US. Gold barbs with no black markings have been observed by Stanislav Frank in Europe also around that time. Flesh colour (pink) specimens appeared by the 1990s. Tri-colour, i.e., black, orange and pink specimens appeared recently.
- The Anh, B. 2012. Puntius semifasciolatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 November 2013.
- 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.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Puntius semifasciolatus" in FishBase. October 2013 version.
- "Barbus semifasciolatus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved April 28, 2004.
- Lambert, Derek J (1997). Freshwater Aquarium Fish. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. p. 17. ISBN 0-7858-0867-1.
- Michael K. Oliver, ed. (1977). Simon & Schuster's Guide to Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Fishes. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. p. 50. ISBN 0-671-22809-9.
- Sharpe, Shirlie. "Gold Barb". Your Guide to Freshwater Aquariums. Retrieved December 15, 2004.
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