The Eightbanded barb (Eirmotus octozona) is a very delicate, slightly transparent dwarf barb from blackwaters of Malaysia and Indonesia. The males are much smaller than the females and sometimes even look as if they were half famished. But this is normal. Besides this males have comparatively larger ventral fins. The fish gets the most intensiv coloration in water that is rich in humin substances from peat, dead leaves and alder cones. Sadly this cannot be realised in photo tanks for technical reasons: the resulting yellow tinge of the pictures is quite irritating.
This tiny barb is very enigmatic. It has been described in 1959 on the basis of specimens from the aquarium fish trade which were said to originate from Thailand (Bung Borapet). However, there have been no reports since then about any occurence of Eirmotus in Thailand. Oramental fish collectors formerly collected this species in the peat swamp forest of Ayer Hitam in Johor, Malaysia. This forest has been almost destroyed for oil palm plantations and all fish that lived there seem to be extinct now. In 2008 three very similiar, new species of Eirmotus have been described from Sumatra and Borneo. Our fish seem to belong to the “real” E. octozona.
Eiromotus are very delicate barbs, which become only 3-4 cm long and are perfect tankmates for small blackwater tanks. Nothing has been reported so far about the breeding biology of this unusual, very peaceful barb.
For our customers: the fish have code 414583 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Eirmotus: refers to the rows of sensitive pores on the head. octozona: means “with 8 bars”
Suggestion of a common name: Eightbanded barb
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer