The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is one of the best known lifeforms of this planet and an important subject of scientific research. The beautiful fish is also one of the most popular aquarium fishes of the world. It is native in the river systems of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra in India.
Ten years ago Fang Fang, a scientist specialized in Danio, described a new species of Danio from Burma under the name D. kyathit. The species, however, is known much longer, but had been misidentified formerly as Danio rerio. Although live fish of both species hardly can be confused one must keep in mind that scientists usually work with preserved material. In preserved material details of coloration are usually hardly not recognizable.
It was though for a long time that in the wild a spotted and a striped variety of Danio kyathit would appear. But in 2009. Sven Kullander and Fang Fang described the striped fish as a new species, D. quagga. Both Danios can be kept and bred as easily as the zebrafish.
Since the early 1960ies a Danio species is kept and bred in our tanks which has never been found in nature: the leopard danio, D. frankei. Sadly nowadays pure strains of D. frankei probably don´t exist anymore, as the species has been and is continously crossed with Danio rerio. But the findings in Danio kyathit and D. quagga make it likely that there is somewhere a place in India where a wild spotted Danio may exist…. Probably this place is somewhere in the extreme east of India. This region is still a white spot on the map of science, as scientific research is impossible there due to political reasons. So we have to leave the solution of this problem to upcoming generations.
For our customers: Danio kyathit „spotted“ has code 413613, D. quagga code 413603 and bred ones code 413593 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply to the wholesale market.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
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