Barbodes “schuberti”

8. March 2024

Brocade is a very heavy, strong fabric. It used to be considered particularly noble and precious, as the base fabric was made of silk and gold and silver threads were woven into it. All in all, brocade was a fabric for ceremonial robes and similar purposes.

The golden barb is called brocade barb in German speaking countries. It is a cultivated form that probably originated from the Chinese barb (Barbodes semifasciolatus). However, nobody knows for sure. As different Barbodes species or populations have been crossed into the strains, at least nowadays, meaning that golden barbs are multiple hybrids, it makes little sense to use a scientific species name – as is the case with almost all domesticated species.

It is said to have originated in the 1950s with an aquarist named Thomas Schubert from Camden, New Jersey (USA), which is why it is often referred to by the invalid name “Barbus (or Puntius, both are incorrect) schuberti”. The term “schuberti” is not a scientific name, but a fantasy name and should therefore always be placed in quotation marks.

It is an absolutely peaceful and easy-care fish that has never disappeared from the world’s aquariums since its creation. However, it has been repeatedly modified by breeders. The first “schuberti”, which are illustrated in a color photo in the classic book “Süßwasserfische aus aller Welt” by G. Sterba in the 1959 edition, were golden yellow, the fins yellowish and there were only a few black markings: a tail root spot was typical, as well as other spots below the dorsal fin, sometimes also on the flanks. Older animals were more heavily spotted. The belly of this form was silvery.

The strain that we are currently able to offer from EU offspring certainly contains a lot of blood from the red-bellied Barbodes Chinese barb from Vietnam, which is possibly B. fernandezyepezi; this species, which was originally described as Barbus aureus (aureus = golden) from Hue, Vietnam, in 1883, is currently listed as a synonym of B. semifasciolatus. The Vietnamese Chinese barb has a red belly in the male and reddish fins overall. Our golden barbs also have precisely this characteristic, which makes them really very attractive.

For our customers: the animals have code 371303 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer