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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Indian Hillstream loaches
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Indian Hillstream loaches
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:09 pm Post subject: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Hi,
 Thought  I  would  initiate  a  discussion  on  the  Indian  Hillstream  loaches.  The  objective  of  the  thread  is  to  identify  the  fishes,  share  biotope  pics,  understand  requirements  and  share  first  hand  experiences  in  caring  for  these  fishes.
 
 
Key  to  Genera
 1.  Gill  opening  small  and  situated  entirely  above  base  of  pectoral  fins.  :  Bhavania  Hora
         Gill  openings  of  moderate  size  extending  to  the  ventral  surface  for  a  short  distance.  ->  2
 2.  Pectoral  fins  with  19-21  rays.  8  to  10  outer  rays  unbranched.  :  Balitora  Gray
         Pectoral  fins  with  14-20  rays,  three  to  eight  outer  rays  unbranched.  ->  3
 3.  Rostral  groove  in  front  of  mouth  absent  or  very  poorly  developed.  Rostral  fold  absent  or  very  slightly  developed.  Rostral  barbels  four.  :  Homaloptera  van  Hasselt
         Rostral  groove  in  front  of  mouth  present,  overhung  by  rostral  fold.  Rostral  barbels  seven  or  more.  :  Travancoria  Hora
 
 
Balitora  Gray,  1832
 Diagnosis:  Anterior  part  of  body  and  abdomen  greatly  depressed,  ventral  surface  flattened.  Head  flat,  depressed.  Snout  broad,  rounded,  provided  with  trenchant  margins,  covered  with  small  sharp  tubercles.  Mouth  small,  inferior,  transverse  and  slightly  arched.  Eyes  dorso-lateral,  not  visible  from  below  ventral  surface.  Lips  on  lower  jaw  continuous  with  the  upper  one  at  angle  of  mouth  and  paillated,  does  not  cover  the  lower  jaw.  Lower  jaw  sharp,  strong,  with  a  horny  substance,  Jaws  and  palate  without  teeth.  Four  short  thick  rostral  barbels  and  one  pair  maxillary.  Dorsal  fin  inserted  above  or  slightly  ahead  of  pelvic  ins  and  with  12  rays  (nine  branched).  Anal  fin  short  with  seven  rays  (five  branched).  Paired  fins  broad  and  horizontal.  Pectoral  fins  with  19-21  rays  (8-10  simple  and  11-12  branched).  Pelvic  fins  with  11  rays  (two  simple  and  nine  branched).  Caudal  fin  forked.  Lateral  line  complete  with  68-70  scales.  Scales  small.
 
 Balitora  brucei  Gray,  1830
 Key:  Head  length  6.5  in  total  length.  Lateral  line  scales  more  than  65  (65  or  68  )
 Colouration:
 Distribution:  Eastern  Himalayas;  Meghalaya:  Khasi  Hills;  West  Bengal:  Darjeeling
 Habitat:  Torrential  Streams
 Size:  9.0  cm  SL.
 
 Balitora  mysorensis  Hora,  1941
 Key:  Head  length  5.0-6.4  in  total  length.  Lateral  line  scales  not  more  than  65  (64  or  65)
 Colouration:  Color  is  greenish  brown  with  blothes  along  the  dorsum  and  the  lateral  line.  The  bands  on  the  lateral  side  coalesce  to  form  a  band.  Belly  is  dirty  white.  Pectoral  and  ventral  fins  have  a  ray  of  dots.  Caudal  fin  has  a  longer  lobe  with  a  horizontal  dark  shade.
 Distribution:  Western  Ghats:  Karnataka  (Cauvery  and  Thungabhadra  River  Systems).
 Habitat:  Torrential  Streams
 Size:  9.0  cm  SL.
 
 
Bhavania  Hora,  1920
 Diagnosis:  Body  and  abdomen  greatly  depressed.  Ventral  surface  in  front  of  anal  fin  flattened.  Head  flat,  depressed.  Snout  broadly  pointed  and  with  more  or  less  trenchant  margins.  Mouth  small,  inferior  transverse  lunate.  Eyes  dorso-lateral,  not  visible  from  below  ventral  surface.  Lips  Fleshy,  covering  the  jaws  partly  continuous  at  angles  of  mouth.  Lower  lip  divided  into  one  central  and  two  lateral  portions;  central  part  followed  by  two  prominent  papillae.  Jaws  sharp  and  covered  by  horny  substance.  Jaws  and  palate  without  teeth.  Six  short  stumpy  barbels,  four  rostral  and  two  maxillary.  Dorsal  fin  inserted  slightly  behind  the  pelvic  fins,  with  nine  to  eleven  rays  (Seven  to  nine  branched).  Paired  fins  broad,  horizontal,  wing-like.  Pectoral  fin  with  six  to  eight  simple,  and  nine  to  eleven  branched  rays.  Pelvic  fins  with  two  simple  and  seven  or  eight  branched  rays.  Caudal  fin  forked,  lower  lobe  considerably  longer  than  upper.  Lateral  line  complete  with  70-75  scales.
 
 Bhavania  arunachalensis  Nath,  Dam,  Bhuita,  Dey  &  Das,  2007
 Key:  N.A
 Colouration:  N.A.
 Distribution:  River  Noadhing  drainage,  Arunachal  Pradesh,  India
 Habitat:  N.A
 Size:  N.A
 
 Bhavania  australis  Jerdon,  1849
 Key:  Gill  openings  small  and  situated  entirely  above  base  of  pectoral  fins.
 Colouration:  Body  light  or  dark  brown,  with  irregularly  arranged  small  blotches.  All  the  median  and  paired  fins  are  with  regular  rows  of  black  spots.
 Distribution:  Western  Ghats:  Karnatake,  Mysore  District;  Tamilnadu:   
 Nilgiris;  Kerala;  Silent  Valley,  Tenmalai  and  Wynaad.
 Habitat:  Torrential  streams
 Size:  9.0  cm  SL.
 
 
Homaloptera  van  Hasselt,  emend  van  der  Hoeven,  1823
 Diagnosis:  Body  and  abdomen  sub  cylindrical,  ventral  surface  flattened.  Head  flat,  feebly  or  moderately  depressed.  Snout  broad  and  round  or  long  and  pointed.  Mouth  inferior,  transverse,  slightly  arched.  Eyes  superior  or  dorso-lateral  not  visible  from  below  ventral  surface.  Lips  full,  plain  and  continuous  at  angles  of  mouth.  Jaws  strong,  uncovered  by  lips,  and  with  horny  substance.  Six  barbels,  four  rostral,  and  two  maxillary.  Jaws  and  palate  without  teeth.  Dorsal  fin  inserted  above  pelvic  fins,  or  slightly  ahead  or  behind,  with  nine  rays  (seven  branched).  Anal  fin  short  with  seven  rays  (five  branched).  Pectoral  fins  with  two  to  eight  simple  and  8-12  branched  rays.  Pelvic  fins  with  two  simple  and  five  to  eight  branched  rays.  Paired  fins  broad  and  horizontal.  Caudal  fin  emarginate  or  deeply  forked.  Scales  small.  Lateral  Line  complete  with  44-46  scales.
 
 Homaloptera  manipurensis  Arunkumar,  1998
 Key:  
 Colouration:
 Distribution:  Lokchao  River,  a  major  tributary  of  the  Yu  River  drainage
 system  of  Manipur.
 Habitat:  
 Size:  
 
 Homaloptera  menoni  Shaji  and  Esa,  1995
 Key:  59-62  lateral  line  scales.  Dorsal  fin  inserted  nearer  to  the  tip  of  the  snout  than  to  the  caudal  fin  base.  Pectoral  fin  has  5  simple  and  9  branched  rays.  Pelvic  fin  overlaps  the  vent,  bean-shaped  blotch  absent.
 Colouration:  Greenish  yellow  in  color,  with  few  irregular  blotches  on  the  dorsal.
 Distribution:  Bhavani  River  at  Siruvani,  Kerala.
 Habitat:  
 Size:
 
 Homaloptera  modesta  Vinciguerra,  1890
 Key:  
 Colouration:
 Distribution:  Manipur,  Eastern  Himalayas
 Habitat:  
 Size:
 
 Homaloptera  montana  Herre,  1945
 Key:  Lateral  line  scales  72.  Dorsal  fin  inserted  equidistance  between  the  snout  and  the  caudal  fin  base.  Pectoral  fin  has  4  simple  and  8  branched  rays;  pectoral  fin  extending  to  pelvic  fin  base.  Pelvic  fin  falls  short  of  the  vent.
 Colouration:  Brownish  above  with  10  short  bars,  a  faint  dark  longitudinal  stripe  below  lateral  line  from  eye  to  caudal  fin  base.
 Distribution:  Western  Ghats  (Anaimalai  Hills)
 Habitat:  Torrential  streams
 Size:  7.3  cm  SL.
 
 Homaloptera  pillaii  Indra  &  Rema  Devi,  1981
 Key:  83-93  lateral  line  scales.   Dorsal  fin  inserted  slightly  closer  to  caudal  fin  base  than  snout.  Pectoral  fins  have  7-9  simple  and  11  -13  branched  rays.  Pelvic  fins  not  reaching  vent.  Anal  with  poorly  defined  bean  shaped  blotch  at  its  base
 Colouration:  Light  brown  with  dark  blotches  irregularly  scattered  all  over  the  head  and  body  except  on  the  ventral  side.
 Distribution:  Western  Ghats  (River  Kunthi,  Silent  Valley)
 Habitat:  Hill  Streams
 Size:  7.5  cm.  SL
 
 Photo  Courtesy:  Dr.  Rema  Devi
 
 Homaloptera  santhamparaiensis  Johnson,  Arunachalam  and  Rema  Devi,  2002
 Key:  Dorsal  fin  origin  behind  the  origin  of  the  pelvic  and  inserted  nearer  to  the  caudal  fin  base  than  to  the  tip  of  the  snout;  4  simple  and  10  branched  rays  in  the  pectoral;  body  dark  brown  with  8-9  brown  blotches  and  88  to  95  scales  along  the  lateral  line.
 Colouration:  Head  and  body  uniform  dark  brown.  Belly  pale  yellow.
 Dorsal  marked  with  8-9  dark  indistinct  brown  blotches  ;  blotches  more  distinct  in  smaller  specimens.  Fins  dusky  white,  and  rays  dark  brown.
 Distribution:  Panniyar  Stream,  a  tributary  of  the  Periyar  River
 at  Santhamparai  Hills,  Idukki  District,  Kerala.
 Habitat:  Hill  Stream
 Size:
   
 Photo  Courtesy:  Dr.  Arunachalam
 
 
Travancoria  Hora,  1941
 Diagnosis:  Body  and  abdomen  greatly  depressed,  ventral  surface  in  front  of  anal  fin  flattened.  Head  flat,  greatly  depressed.  Snout  narrowly  rounded  in  front.  Mouth  small,  inferior,  transverse,  greatly  arched.  Eyes  dorso-lateral,  not  visible  from  below  ventral  surface.  Lips  full,  plan,  continuous  round  angles  of  mouth;  middle  part  of  posterior  lip  separated  from  sides,  followed  by  two  well  developed  papillae  which  may  appear  as  short  barbels  in  some  specimens.  Upper  jaw  covered  by  lip,  lower  jaw  uncovered,  shovel  like,  sharp,  strongly  covered  with  horny  substance.  Four  short  rostral  barbels,  and  a  pair  of  short  maxillary  barbels.  Jaws  and  palate  without  teeth.  Dorsal  fin  inserted  opposite  pelvic  fins,  with  nine  rays  (seven  or  eight  branched).  Anal  fin  with  eight  ot  nine  rays  (six  or  seven  branched).  Pectoral  fins  with  six  simple  and  nine  or  ten  branched  rays.  Pelvic  fins  with  two  simple  and  six  or  seven  branched  rays.  Paired  fins  broad,  wing  like,  horizontal.  Caudal  fin  emarginate.  Scales  small.  Lateral  Lime  complete  with  75-77  scales.
 
 Travancoria  elongata    Pethiyagoda  &  Kottelat,  1994
 Key:  
 Colouration:  Greenish-brown,  with  dark  brown  spots  on  back.  The  color  pattern  is  more  evident  in  the  smaller  specimens.  In  larger  specimens,  the  blotches  become  more  coalesced  to  give  an  uneven  mottled  appearance.  Ventral  side  is  creamy  white.
 Distribution:  Kerala:  Western  Ghats:  Upper  reaches  of  Chalakudy  River.
 Habitat:  Torrential  Streams
 Size:  11.4  cm.  T.L.
 
 Travancoria  jonesi    Hora,  1941
 Key:  
 Colouration:  Dark  on  dorsum  with  saddle  shaped  spots.  Head  and  lateral  side  of  body  are  mottled  with  black  spots  of  different  sizes  and  pattern.  Fins  are  with  series  of  spots.
 Distribution:  Kerala:  Western  Ghats:  High  ranges  and  Anamalai  Hills.
 Habitat:  Torrential  Streams
 Size:  8.4  cm.  S.L.
 
 References:
 Checklist:  Freshwater  Fishes  of  India  -  A.G.K.  Menon
 The  Freshwater  Fishes  of  India..  A  Handbook  -  K.C.  Jayaram
 Habitat  and  Distribution  of  Indian  Hill  Stream  Fishes  of  Southern  Kerala  (South  of  Palghat  Gap)  -  Raju  Thomas  K
 Homaloptera  santhamparaiensis,  a  New  Species  of  Balitorid  Fish  (Teleostei:  Balitoridae)  from  a  Western  Ghats  Stream  of  Kerala,  India  -  M.  Arunachalam,  J.  A.  Johnson  and  K.  Rema  Devi
 
 Special  thanks  to  Dr.  Rema  Devi  for  some  useful  inputs  towards  identification  and  literature.


Last edited by beta on Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:26 pm; edited 5 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:25 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 I  have  most  of  the  the  information  in.  If  you  have  biotope  or  specimen  pics  to  share,  please  do  use  this  thread  too.
 
 When  you  plan  to  photograph  specimens  for  ID,  Please  remember  to  capture:
 
 
    Lateral  view,  allowing  scale  counts  and  fin  rays  counts  and  shape  of  fins.
     Ventral  view,  allowing  fin  ray  counts  and  shapes/positions  of  fins.
     Close  up  of  mouthparts  showing  shape,  barbels  and  any  important  features


Last edited by beta on Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:58 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Heiko  collected  these  loaches  from  Madikeri,  near  or  in  Kaluarili  river  (spelling?)  near  Kaveri  source.
 The  area  in  which  these  loaches  were  found  was  in  the  hills,  about  1400  m  high  just  near  to  Makeri.   The  biotope  is  rocky  and  partly  very  steep,  and  fast  flowing.  The  rocks  were  often  algae  covered  (on  which  they  scrape  the  Aufwuchs  from).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 *  Photo  and  information  courtesy  of  Heiko  Bleher
 *  Thanks  to  Sujoy  for  facilitating  this.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:02 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 This  Hillstream  loach  was  collected  from  the  Mani  Muthar  Dam.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 This  was  the  place  where  it  was  collected  from.
 
 Photo  courtesy:  Rajeswaran  Kesavan


Last edited by beta on Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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hayath_dyno
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:12 am Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Gorgeous  initiative  Beta!  Rock On  
 
 Bhavania  australis  (most  likely)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Spot  at  which  they  were  collected  near  Sakleshpur,  Western  ghats.  Found  to  be  hanging  out  in  large  groups  near  rock  ledges  and  undersides  with  fast  flowing  water.
 
 
 Fed  by  waters  from  sources  like  these,  super  rich  in  dissolved  oxygen
 
 
 Cheers,
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headbanger_jib
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:56 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 i  need  a  hill  stream  loach  tank  now  
 
 thank  you  BETA  Mad
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Tabby
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:23 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Wow  Beta  those  loaches  look  nice  and  big...  And  found  near  Madikeri?  A  trip  in  summer  would  be  best  as  I  saw  plenty  of  collection  spots  in  my  last  week's  visit  there...  Lovely  loaches  thanks  for  sharing...   Thumb Up
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:49 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Jibran:  They  are  fishes  with  special  requirements,  so  do  research  before  you  setup  a  tank  for  them.  I  have  never  been  able  to  keep  them  alive  for  more  than  a  year   Thumb Down  
 
 Tabrez:  Some  of  them  seem  to  grow  quite  big.  I  got  the  shock  of  my  life  when  I  saw  the  one  that  I  have  posted  above.
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headbanger_jib
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:15 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

                                                   
beta  wrote  (View  Post):                
Jibran:  They  are  fishes  with  special  requirements,  so  do  research  before  you  setup  a  tank  for  them.  I  have  never  been  able  to  keep  them  alive  for  more  than  a  year   Thumb Down  
                 

 yup  will  do  the  research  and  might  as  well  PM  you  for  any  other  queries  i  might  have  before  i  setup  the  tank  ans  think  about  going  collecting  for  them  or  start  looking  for  them.
 
 what  exactly  was  the  name  of  the  second  one  whose  pictures  you  posted  that  was  a  whopper
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:34 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 I  think  its  a  Bhavania  australis  but  still  needs  more  work  to  ID  them.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:39 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Hi  all,
 
 You  need  a  special  species  only  tank  to  keep  these  fishes  and  some  of  them  are  endangered  so  best  is  if  you  are  sure  you  will  be  able  to  maintain  them  and  keep  them  then  it  is  ok  to  collect  them.
 
 You  will  have  to  set  up  a  tank  like  this  as  I  have  set  up  for  the  hill  stream  loaches  ...this  one  is  Gastromyzon  scitulus  from  Borneo.  But  the  Indian  Ones  will  also  need  a  similar  set  up  as  well...
 
 1.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeZgSLWszDo  
 2.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGvcyeWGnSg  
 
 
 You  may  read  about  this  design  at  
 
 1.  http://www.loaches.com/articles/hillstream-loaches-the-specialists-at-life-in-the-fast-lane
 2.  http://www.loaches.com/articles/a-river-runs-through-it
 3.  http://www.loaches.com/articles/river-tank-manifold-design
 4.  http://www.loaches.com/articles/oxygen-in-the-aquarium
 5.  http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=4922  
       (PFK  The  secret  to  setting  up  a  better  river  aquarium)  
 
 I  have  modified  this  design  to  have  an  increased  water  flow  and  have  added  additional  power  heads  to  do  so.  (  I  will  post  the  design  and  details  on  other  thread...)
 
 Also  they  need  a  lot  of  algae  and  very  good  quality  of  water,  well  oxygenated  to  survive  and  must  be  kept  under  26C,  best  is  between  20-25C.
 
 So  before  collecting  fishes  from  the  wild  please  be  sure  that  you  will  be  able  to  provide  them  with  an  environment  that  they  need  to  survive  and  that  you  will  be  able  to  maintain  them  on  artificial  food  in  captivity...
 
 Best  Regards
 
 Sujoy


Last edited by joyban on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tabby
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:39 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Beta  same  here,  I  am  amazed  to  see  the  size  of  these  loaches  especially  the  pic  with  that  loach  in  the  cover...  looks  sweeeeet   Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:34 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Beta,  how  was  the  dorsal  fin  profile  shot?  The  one  where  it  was  stretched  for  a  better  view.
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beta
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:18 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

 Shankar,  Which  shot  are  you  referring  to?
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Shankar
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:30 pm Post subject: Re: Indian Hillstream loaches Reply with quote

                                                   
beta  wrote  (View  Post):                
Shankar,  Which  shot  are  you  referring  to?                

 
 
                                                 
Shankar  wrote  (View  Post):                
The  one  where  it  was  stretched  for  a  better  view.                

 
 May  be,  Rahul  was  behind  the  lens.  :  )
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