Bala shark

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Bala shark
Balantiocheilos melanopterus - Karlsruhe Zoo 02.jpg
Scientific classification e
Unrecognized taxon (fix): Balantiocheilos
Binomial name
Balantiocheilos melanopterus
(Bleeker, 1850)
  • Barbus melanopterus Bleeker, 1850

The bala shark, Balantiocheilos melanopterus, also known as the tricolor shark, tricolor sharkminnow, silver shark, or shark minnow, is a fish of the family Cyprinidae, and is one of the two species in the genus Balantiocheilos. This species is not a true shark, but is commonly so called because of its torpedo-shaped body and large fins.

Habitat, distribution & in aquariums[change | change source]

The bala shark is found in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo.[2][3] Some people say they have seen it further north in the Mekong and Chao Phraya River, but this is due to confusion with the recently described and possibly extinct B. ambusticauda (although the presence of any Balantiocheilos in the Mekong is not known).[3] Bala sharks are found in midwater depths in large and medium-sized rivers and lakes. They feed on phytoplankton, but mostly on small crustaceans, rotifers, and insects and their larvae.[2] Bala sharks are misunderstood aquarium fish.[4] These fish are generally peaceful and good to many other types of tropical fish.[4] Bala sharks are in most pet stores, but will grow to a size too large for the original aquarium.[4]

Appearance and anatomy[change | change source]

These fish have a silver body with black ends on their dorsal, caudal, anal, and pelvic fins. They have big eyes to find and catch their prey. The bala shark will grow to a maximum length of 35 cm (14 in).[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lumbantobing, D. (2020). "Balantiocheilos melanopterus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2020: e.T149451010A90331546. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Balantiocheilos melanopterus" in FishBase. Apr 2007 version.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ng, Heok Hee; Kottelat, Maurice (2007). "Balantiocheilos ambusticauda, a new and possibly extinct species of cyprinid fish from Indochina (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae)" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1463: 13–20. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.1463.1.2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Axelrod, Herbert R.; Emmens, C.; Burgess, W.; Pronek, N. (1996). Exotic Tropical Fishes. T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0-87666-543-1.