Zenarchopterus dunckeri

21. March 2016

There are 20 valid species in the genus Zenarchopterus, all of them occuring along the Pacific coast of tropical Asia. The maximum length of Zenarchopterus is around 15 cm, only a few species are recorded to reach a greater length, most of them stay smaller. The species are very similar to each other and the only safe way for a positive identification of the species is via the external visible sexual organ of the males. In males, the posterior part of the anal fin is modified to a mating organ called andropodium. Only in one species, Z. quadrimaculatus, a melanophore pattern exists, all other species are silvery.

Recently we were able to import Zenarchopterus from Taiwan. According to Taiwanese literature, the only existing species of Zenarchopterus in Taiwan is Z. dunckeri. As we have no adult male in the import (the specimens are around 8 cm long) we were not able to verfy this identification, but have simply adopted the name.

Zenarchopterus are fascinating aquarium inhabitants that are swimming always close to the water surface. In the wild they feed mainly on land-insects that fall in the water, but in the aquarium they also feed happily on flake food. Against any tankmates these fish are very peaceful, but they tend to panic and thus should not be combined with “nasty” species. Most probably all species of Zenarchopterus are egg layers, but there is so far no detailed breeding report available. Zenarchopterus are typical estuarine fishes and thus prefer brackish water, although some species (among them Z. dunckeri) can be found far upstreams and others also enter happily the open sea. It is best to keep them in a salinity of 5-15 grams salt per litre.

For our customers: the fish have code 479304 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Zenarchopterus: ancient Greek, means “the one with a life-giving fin”, referring to the andropodium found in male fish. dunckeri: dedication name for Georg Duncker, ichthyologist in the Zoologisches Museum Hamburg, who discovered (among other species) the harlequin barb, Trigonostigma heteromorpha. quadrimaculatus: Latin, means “with four spots”.

Suggestion of a common name: Duncker´s river gar

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Taiwan
Verfügbare Größe in cm 8