Systomus orphoides (VALENCIENNES, 1842)
Barbus orphoides Valenciennes, 1842; Puntius orphoides (Valenciennes, 1842); Barbus caudimarginatus Blyth, 1860; Puntius simus Smith, 1945
Order: Cypriniformes Family: Cyprinidae
Type locality is ‘Java, Indonesia’, but thsi species is currently considered to have a wide range extending eastwards from northern India and Myanmar via Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia as far as Vietnam and to the south through Peninsular Malaysia and the Greater Sunda Islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Java.
It thus occurs throughout the great Mae Klong, Chao Phraya and Mekong drainages as well as many smaller river basins, lakes and reservoirs.
More recently it’s recorded close to Chennai in Tamil Nadu state, southern India but it remains to be seen whether it’s more widely-distributed than previously thought or has been introduced in some way (Knight and Rema devi 2010).
In addition, the fish can vary in appearance somewhat depending on locality with a number of variants recognised, some of which exhibit a greater degree of red colour pattern in the finnage, for example.
Mostly inhabits flowing tributaries, large streams, and their surrounding floodplains.
The fish move into inundated agricultural areas and forests during the wet season to feed and spawn, returning to the rivers as the water begins to recede.
It’s also found in some larger rivers and permanent water bodies including the highly seasonal Tonlé Sap system in Cambodia.
In the Suriya River, Tak province, western Thailand aquatic plants include Pogostemon helferi and a species of Cryptocoryne and S. orphoides has been recorded to exist alongside numerous other fish species including Acanthocobitis pictilis, Botia kubotai, Syncrossus berdmorei, Pangio fusca, Crossocheilus burmanicus, Parambassis pulcinella, Pethia stoliczkana, Microdevario kubotai, Hampala salweenensis, Poropuntius scapanognathus, Glyptothorax dorsalis, Batasio dayi, B. feruminatus, Akysis vespa, Amblyceps caecutiens, and Tetraodon cutcutia.
Maximum Standard Length
200 – 250 mm.