From time to time we receive the beautiful, large hillstream loaches Annamia normani (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/annamia_normani_en/) from Vietnam. Recently we received again a shipment of very similar specimens, but they differ clearly from the A. normani we know well by the very contrasting tail fin. Since all specimens (over 50) show this feature, it cannot be a coincidence. The attempt of a determination turned out to be difficult, because important determination characteristics – above all the mouth and lip form) are not recognizable at the living animal without aids. The only hillstream loach of the region with similar body shape and marked caudal fin, for which useful picture material exists, is Vanmanenia crassicauda. But also this species is clearly different from our animals, so that we first decided to call them Vanmanenia sp. Vietnam.
Now we finally got the chance to photograph the animals in peace. The shape of mouth and lips proves: the species is a member of the genus Annamia. From this genus there are only two described species, namely the already mentioned A. normani and a species described in 2005, A. thuathienensis (River Bô, Thua Thiên Province, Huê, Vietnam). However, this species is so poorly described that even proven specialists do not feel confident to evaluate it. Therefore we prefer to call our new Giraffe Hillsteam Loach Annamia sp. (= Vanmanenia sp.) Vietnam.
The care of the animals is pleasantly simple. They like strong currents and oxygen-rich water, but are otherwise undemanding. Among themselves and against other fish they are very peaceful. They eat all common fish food of suitable size, but we have no experience with flake food. Our largest animals are about 10 cm long (incl. tail fin).
For our customers: the animals have code 473134 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer