New names – well known fishes – much confusion

20. February 2013

Two of the most often traded algae eaters have been re-named some time ago, namely the Stone Lapper and the Flying Fox. The Stone Lapper has been called Garra taeniata for a long time, but this name is a synonym to the elder name Garra cambodgiensis, which is valid.This species has been confused very often with the Flying Fox (for example in the very popular Aquarium Atlas). The Flying Fox was called Epalzeorhynchus (or Crossocheilus) siamensis. This name also proofed to be a junior synonym of the elder – and thus valid – name Crossocheilus oblongus.

Both species can be easily told apart:

Stone Lapper (Garra cambodgiensis)

– black stripe does not extent to caudal fin (tail fin)
– dorsal fin (the fin on the back): painted with three zones
– no barbels on nose, but only barbels in the corner of the mouth
– no small black dot in front of dorsal fin on the back

Flying Fox (Crossocheilus oblongus)

– black stripe extends in the caudal fin
– no colour at all in dorsal fin
– one pair of barbels on the nose, another pair of barbels in the corner of the mouth
– always a small black dot in front of dorsal fin on the back

Both species are excellent algae eaters and should be best kept in schools. In Garra cambodgiensis males and females can be told apart by the shape of the head, in Crossocheilus oblongus females can be recognized by the plumper body only.

For our customers: Garra cambodgiensis has code 416302 on our stocklist, Crossocheilus oblongus code 15502. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer