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.

Barbonymus schwanenfeldii
Barbonymus schwanenfeldii
(tinfoil barb)

Copyright Info
Barbonymus schwanenfeldii (Bleeker, 1853)

Common name: tinfoil barb

Synonyms and Other Names: Goldfoil barb, Schwanefeld's barb. Other modifications of name used include Barbodes schwanefeldi, Barbus schwanenfeldii, Barbus schwanefeldi, Puntius schwanenfeldi, and P. schwanefeldii.

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Distinguishing characteristics were given by Roberts (1989) and by Kottelat et al. (1993, as Barbodes schwanenfeldii). It is included in the keys of Smith (1945) and Kottelat (1985). Color photographs appeared in Axelrod et al. (1985) and in Kottelat et al. (1993).

Size: 35 cm SL (Baird et al. 1999)

Native Range: Tropical Asia. Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo (Roberts 1989), also Kampuchea, Laos, and Vietnam (Kottelat 1985). Laos (Baird et al. 1999).

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 Barbonymus schwanenfeldii are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL197419992Florida Southeast Coast; South Atlantic-Gulf Region

Table last updated 6/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Probable escape from fish farm in Florida; aquarium release in Indiana.

Status: Failed in Florida and Indiana.

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 a popular ornamental fish. In published lists of introduced species taken in Florida, this species is identified as the tinfoil barb (Barbus sp.) (e.g., Courtenay and Robins 1973). The exact date of collection is uncertain; dates given in the literature are in the periods 1968 to 1970 (Courtenay & Hensley 1979b) and 1970 to 1972 (Courtenay and Robins 1973). There are no known voucher specimens.

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 p.

Baird, I.G., V. Inthaphaisy, P. Kisouvannalath, B. Phylayanh and B. Mounsouphom. 1999. The fishes of southern Lao. Lao Community Fisheries and Dolphin Protection Project. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR. 161 p.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr. and C.R. Robins. 1973. Exotic aquatic organisms in Florida with emphasis on fishes: a review and recommendations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 102(1):1-12.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr., H.F. Sahlman, W.W. Miley II, and D.J. Herrema. 1974. Exotic fishes in fresh and brackish waters of Florida. Biological Conservation 6(4):292-302.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr. and D.A. Hensley. 1979a. 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. and D.A. Hensley. 1979b. Survey of introduced non-native fishes. Phase I. Introduced exotic fishes in North America: Status 1979. Report submitted to National Fisheries Research Laboratory, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Gainesville.

Kottelat, M. 1985. Freshwater fishes of Kampuchea. Hydrobiologia 121:249-279.

Kottelat, M., A.J. Whitten, S.N. Kartikasari, and S. Wirjoatmodjo. 1993. Freshwater fishes of western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Ltd, Republic of Indonesia. 221 p.

Roberts, T.R. 1989. The freshwater fishes of Western Borneo (Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia). Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 14:210 p.

Seng, P. and G. White. 2003. Indiana aquatic nuisance species (ANS) management plan. Indiana Dept of Natural Resources. http://www.in.gov/dnr/4627.htm

Smith, H.M. 1945. The fresh-water fishes of Siam, or Thailand. Bulletin U.S. National Museum (Smithsonian Institution) 188:1-622.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, Bill Loftus, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 10/29/2012

Peer Review Date: 10/29/2012

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, Bill Loftus, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Barbonymus schwanenfeldii (Bleeker, 1853): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=633, Revision Date: 10/29/2012, Peer Review Date: 10/29/2012, Access Date: 6/20/2024

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 [6/20/2024].

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