Rainbow shark
Rainbow shark (Albino)

The Rainbow Shark is a Cyprinid originated in Thailand and Indonesia and now importing in Bangladesh from India and Thailand (Galib and Mohsin, 2010). This species is commonly known as Rambo among the aquarium fish traders of Bangladesh and found in different aquarium shops of large cities of the country (Galib, 2010).

Systematic position

Class: Actinopterigii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Epalzeorhynchos
Species: E. frenatus

Synonym: Labeo frenatus Fowler, 1934.

Rainbow shark
Rainbow shark

Morphology: The body is elongated and laterally compressed. Mouth is inferior and with barbels of two pairs. Fins are red or bright reddish in color and body color is whitish with blackish band at the base of dorsal fin (in albino variety) or greenish. A dark black line runs over the eyes up to operculum. 34 scales were counted in lateral line (Galib, 2010).

Measurements of the different body lengths were obtained as follows: SL 76.60-77.50% of TL, FL 85.11-90.00% of TL, BD 15.00-20.21% of TL, HL 15.00-17.02% of TL, CP 10.00-11.70% of TL and Eye 31.25-33.33% of HL. Maximum length found 12 cm (Galib, 2010).

Taxonomic formula: D. 13; P1. 12; P2. 9; A. 7; C. 20 (Galib, 2010).

Food and feeding: This fish is omnivore in nature but prefers live foods. Bottom dweller fish species and takes all the dried feeds available commercially for aquarium fishes. According to Rainboth (1996) this fish feeds on algae, periphyton, phytoplankton and some zooplankton.

Breeding and gender differentiation status in Bangladesh: No breeding is reported to be conducted in Bangladesh (Galib and Mohsin, 2010).

Economic importance: Popular in aquarium trade (Rainboth, 1996) and used as ornamental fish in Bangladesh (Galib and Mohsin, 2010). Retail price was varied from BDT 80 to 120 per pair.



Rainboth WJ. 1996. Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong. FAO Species Identification Field Guide for Fishery Purposes. FAO, Rome, 265 pp.

Galib SM. 2010. Cultured and Ornamental Exotic Fish Diversity of Bangladesh, MS dissertation, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh, 169 pp.

Galib SM and Mohsin ABM. 2010. Exotic ornamental fishes of Bangladesh, Bangladesh J. Prog. Sci. & Tech. 8(2): 255-258.

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Rainbow Shark, Epalzeorhynchos frenatus (Fowler, 1934)

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Shams Galib

Shams works in freshwater ecosystems, primarily on fish diversity in terms of their availability, and richness; he is also interested in aquatic invasive species and their impacts on ecosystem. Email: thegalib@gmail.com. More...

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