The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Balantiocheilos melanopterus
Balantiocheilos melanopterus
(tricolor sharkminnow)

Copyright Info
Balantiocheilos melanopterus (Bleeker, 1851)

Common name: tricolor sharkminnow

Synonyms and Other Names: silver shark, bala shark

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Native Range: Native to the Mekong and Chao Phraya basins; Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Sumatra, and Borneo (Kottelat 2001; Rainboth 1996).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Balantiocheilos melanopterus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†

Table last updated 7/21/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Aquarium release.

Status: Failed.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: This species is considered endagered in its native range by the IUCN; populations across Southeast Asia have declined or become extirpated since 1975 through habitat alteration and overharvesting for the aquarium trade (Ng and Kottelat 2007).

References: (click for full references)

Kottelat, M. 2001. Fishes of Laos. Wildlife Heritage Trust Publications, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Ng., H.H., and M. Kottelat. 2007. Balantiocheilos ambusticauda, a new and possibly extinct species of cyprinid fish from Indochina (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). Zootaxa 1463:13-20. http://www.mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/3212

Rainboth, W.J. 1996. Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong. FAO Species Identification Field Guide for Fishery Purposes. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/v8731e/v8731e00.htm

Seng, P., and G. White. 2003. Indiana aquatic nuisance species (ANS) management plan. Indiana Dept of Natural Resources, Indianapolis, IN.

FishBase Summary

Author: Neilson, M.E.

Revision Date: 6/29/2023

Peer Review Date: 2/18/2009

Citation Information:
Neilson, M.E., 2024, Balantiocheilos melanopterus (Bleeker, 1851): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=2616, Revision Date: 6/29/2023, Peer Review Date: 2/18/2009, Access Date: 7/21/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/21/2024].

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For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.