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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

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05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

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Fri 09 Mar 2007

Celestial Pearl Danio featured in National Geographic News

Category : pub

"Aquarium Fish Threatened With Extinction Just Months After Discovery." By Maryann Mott. National Geographic News, 07 Mar 2007.

"Just months after the discovery of a colorful new aquarium fish in Southeast Asia, worldwide demand and intense exportation are already causing concern about the survival of the species.

The celestial pearl danio (Celstichthys Celestichthys margaritatus) was first found in August by a commercial aquarium-fish dealer near the town of Hopong in Myanmar (formerly Burma), which neighbors China and Thailand.

Measuring less than an inch (2.5 centimeters), the fish is deep blue with pearly pink or golden iridescent oval spots. It lives in heavily vegetated ponds in a remote northern part of the country, which is largely off-limits to foreigners.

At first the danio's location was kept a secret. But it wasn't long before word leaked out to other commercial dealers, said Tyson Roberts, an ichthyologist who has collected fish in Myanmar for almost 30 years.

Within a few months one Thai company alone had exported about 15,000 of the fish, he pointed out.

Since then exportation - mainly to Japan, North America, and Europe - has probably been ten times that amount, Roberts added.

"Captive breeding may be the only way for the aquarium hobbyist to ensure a supply of the species in the future, since it reportedly is already nearly fished out in the area where it was discovered," he wrote by email.

Roberts is the author of a paper on the celestial pearl danio that appeared in last week's issue of the journal the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. He also named the new species, after white spots on its body that reminded him of stars and pearls."

Read the entire article at National Geographic News. Thanks to Ria Tan for the alert

Posted at 6:07AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,