The arulius barb (Puntius arulius) is a tropical freshwater fish belonging to the Puntius genus in the family (Cyprinidae). It is native to the Kaveri River basin of south east India.
Adult fish are dark brownish olive on the back, becoming lighter on the sides to white on the ventral surface. It has a black, vertical blotch in the middle of its body, above the origin of its pelvic fin. It has a second black, vertical blotch above its anal fin, and a third black bar or blotch on the base of the caudal fin, though less well defined as the other two blotches. The fins are thin and transparent or transluscent. Adults possess more pronounced colors than the juvenile. The adult male differs from a closely related filament
barb species found in Tambraparni River
basin, Puntius tambraparniei
, and lacks the filament-like extensions to the branched dorsal-fin rays which lend to the incorrect use of the common name, longfin barb
). It reaches an adult size of 4.75 in. (12.0 cm).
All of the known material of P. arulius
is from the upper reaches of the Kaveri River basin. The only recent collections have been at Kodagu
. No specimens have been found at Srirangapatna
, however, despite an extensive search conducted in March, 1996. Local fishermen failed to recognize photographs of the fish or the local name mentioned by Jerdon. Its native habitat is large streams, rivers, and lakes, with a pH
of 6.0 - 6.5, dH
of 10, and temperature 19°C to 25°C.
The conservation status of this species is currently unknown
. However it was formerly listed in the 2000 IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species as critically endangered
This fish was originally named Systomus arulius
in 1849, and is also referred to as Systomus rubrotinctus
, and Barbus arulius
. The word arulius
is derived from the name "aruli" used by local inhabitants.
In the aquarium
Though less common to the hobby than other related barbs, this peaceful, active, egg-laying fish is compatible with other related species in the home aquarium such as tiger barbs
( Puntius tetrazona
), and rosy barbs
) and other fast swimming Cyprinid
species of similar size. Also compatible with some cichlid
species, but smaller fish such as neon tetras would be at risk of predation. As with many barbs, nippy behavior is common, but alleviated by keeping the fish in numbers of at least 5-6 individuals in the aquarium, while taking into account the space requirements of the adult size of 4-5 inches (10-12 cm).