Opsariichthys cf. songmaensis

27. October 2023

From Vietnam we were able to import dragonfishes, which we first – at a superficial view – thought to be Zacco platypus. Then we looked a little bit closer and there were differences. First of all Zacco platypus has clearly wider body bands. So we started to do some research and that’s when it got complex: at the moment there is an intense discussion among experts how to classify the dragonfishes on genus level and which criteria to use to distinguish species.

Our fishes show the greatest similarity to Opsariichthys because of their hooked lower jaw combined with a matching notch in the upper jaw; five species are currently known from this genus in Vietnam, and our animals show the most similarities to O. songmaensis (according to the identification key in Huynh & Chen, 2013).

Dragonfish are magnificent aquarium fish that love cool, flowing water. They do not need additional heating, water temperatures between 16 and 24°C suit their needs. The large mouth is a clear sign that even small fish can disappear in it, so be careful. In ranking fights especially the caudal fin is affected. However, this should not deter you from keeping these animals in a shoal, because they are very social animals, despite their robust interaction with each other. Our specimens are a maximum of 8 cm long (with caudal fin) and fully sexually differentiated. In literature, 7.5 cm is given as maximum length for females, while 10.5 cm has been measured for males (both without caudal fin). Greedily eats any common ornamental fish food.

For our customers: the animals have code 439943 on our stock list. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.


Huynh, T. Q. & I-S. Chen (2014): A new species of cyprinid fish of genus Opsariichthys from Ky Cung — Bang Giang River basin, northern Vietnam with notes on the taxonomic status of the genus from northern Vietnam and southern China. Journal of Marine Science and Technology v. 21, Suppl. [for 2013]: 135-145.