Devario malabaricus
Devario malabaricus
(Malabar danio)
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Devario malabaricus (Jerdon, 1849)

Common name: Malabar danio

Synonyms and Other Names: giant danio, Danio malabaricus

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Recent systematic review and distinguishing characteristics were provided by Jayaram (1991) and Kullander (2001). A key, distinguishing characteristics, and figure were given in Talwar and Jhingran (1991). Color photographs of live fish appeared in Axelrod et al. (1985).

Size: 12 cm TL.

Native Range: Tropical Asia, southwestern India and Sri Lanka (Jayaram 1991).

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Nonindigenous Occurrences: This species was collected near a fish farm in a canal in Ruskin, Hillsborough County, Florida, in or before 1979 (Courtenay and Hensley 1979a). Two specimens were taken in the same county from a ditch adjacent to the Tampa Bypass Canal in November 1993 (museum specimen). It was also discovered in a small roadside borrow pit south of Miami (Shafland 1976). A single specimen was captured in Rogers Spring, Clark County, Nevada, on 15 November 1983 (Courtenay, personal communication); that record is apparently the basis for other reports from this site and state (e.g., Courtenay et al. 1984, 1991).

Means of Introduction: The Hillsborough County, Florida, introductions were probably due to releases or escapes from local fish farms. The Nevada introduction likely represents the result of an aquarium release.

Status: Failed in Florida and Nevada.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: The Malabar danio has long been popular in the aquarium trade and is widely available.

Voucher specimens: Florida (UF 98915); the Nevada specimen was reported as deposited at FAU (Courtenay, personal communication 1983), but that fish is now unavailable, possibly destroyed.

References: (click for full references)

Axelrod, H.R., W.E. Burgess, N. Pronek, and J.G. Walls. 1985. Dr. Axelrod's atlas of freshwater aquarium fishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyists Publications, Inc, Neptune City, NJ. 780 pp.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr. and D.A. Hensley. 1979. Range expansion in southern Florida of the introduced spotted tilapia, with comments on its environmental impress. Environmental Conservation 6(1):149-151.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr., D.A. Hensley, J.N. Taylor, and J.A. McCann. 1984. Distribution of exotic fishes in the continental United States. IN W.R. Courtenay, Jr., and J.R. Stauffer, Jr., eds. Distribution, Biology and Management of Exotic Fishes. John Hopkins University Press Baltimore, MD. 41-77.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr., D.P. Jennings, and J.D. Williams. 1991. Appendix 2: Exotic Fishes IN Common names and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication. 5th ed. 20.

Jayaram, K.C. 1991. Systematic status of Danio malabaricus (Pisces: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 2:109-112.

Kullander, F.F. 2001. Phylogeny and species diversity of the South and Southeast Asian cyprinid genus Danio Hamilton (Teleostei, Cyprinidae). Ph.D. Thesis-Stockholm University, Department of Zoology. p. 1-26. Sweden, Stockholm University, Department of Zoology.

Shafland, P.L. 1976. The continuing problem of non-native fishes in Florida. Fisheries 1(6):25.

Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran (editors). 1991. Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. Two volumes. AA Balkema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 1158 p.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Bill Loftus

Revision Date: 7/30/2012

Peer Review Date: 2/9/2016

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Bill Loftus, 2018, Devario malabaricus (Jerdon, 1849): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 7/30/2012, Peer Review Date: 2/9/2016, Access Date: 1/22/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/22/2018].

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