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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Hard-lipped Barb
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Order : Cypriniformes
Family : CYPRINIDAE
Species : Osteochilus vittatus (formerly O. hasselti)
Maximum Length : 32 cm

The Hard-lipped Barb, or Bonylip Barb, mainly inhabits slow-flowing large streams or small rivers with muddy, silty or sandy substrates, however it may also tolerate other freshwater habitats.

Its body form is laterally-compressed and  rhomboidal-shaped. It is mainly silvery in colour, but its dorsal surface is sometimes greenish or brownish. The fins are pinkish grading to red at the margins. The extreme margins of the pelvic and anal fins are pale. The tail fin is deeply forked, and the barbels small. At the base of the tail fin is a single black marking.

The species is mainly herbivorous, feeding on algae and phytoplankton.

This species occurs in many river systems of Southeast Asia including major rivers in Burma, Thailand, Indochina and Peninsular Malaysia. It is also recorded from Sumatra, Java and Borneo. In Singapore it is considered an introduced species.

In the Mekong River Basin of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia it is abundant and there a maximum length of 32 cm has been recorded.


Fig 1 : 18 cm specimen in slow-flowing freshwater habitat, Singapore.

Fig 2 : Slow-flowing non-tidal river with muddy/silty bottom : the specimen in Figure 1 was found in this habitat in Singapore.

Fig 3 : Hard-lipped Barb, with Two-spot Rasbora in foreground, Singapore.


References : F1