Eyespot Gourami (Parasphaerichthys ocellatus)
Family: Osphronemidae, Subfamily Luciocephalinae
Common Names: Eyespot Gourami
Origin and Habitat: Believed to be endemic to Myanmar. Found in small muddy streams high up in the mountains.
Compatibility/Temperament: Males are naturally somewhat aggressive to each other, but otherwise a peaceful, quiet and shy fish that should either be kept in a species aquarium or with small, peaceful fish such as the small rasbora, etc. Seems to do best in a small group of 6 or so.
Eyespot Gourami Diet
Small live and/or frozen foods may be necessary. Artemia (brine shrimp) and daphnia seem appropriate. In typical gourami fashion, it spends the day browsing every surface for minuscule food particles.
Attains 4 cm (1.6 inches).
Minimum Tank Suggestion
Water parameters for Eyespot Gourami
Soft (< 10 dGH), acidic to slightly basic (pH 6 to 7.5) water, temperature 22-26C/70-79F.
Not often seen in the hobby, this is a very quiet and shy fish, more suitable for experienced aquarists. It is sometimes commonly called the Myanmar Chocolate Gourami or the False Chocolate Gourami, and although outwardly it bears little resemblance, some ichthyologists believe they are very closely related.
A very well-planted tank with places to hide and dim light seems to suit this species best and it will be less withdrawn. It tolerates cooler temperatures than other gourami, and some authors note that it seems to fare better at lower temperatures. It's spawning method is unknown.
The fish was described in 1929 by B. Prashad and D.D. Mukerji. The genus name comes from the Greek para (= the side of) and sphere (= sphere) and ichthys (= fish). The species epithet ocellatus is Latin for "spotted" and refers to the large dark spot on the side of the fish, which also gave the fish the comon English name "eyespot." It is one of only two species in the genus; the other is P. lineatus, described in 2002 by Britz & Kottelat, and even more rare in the hobby than the subject species. In the photos below, the first two are of the subject species P. ocellatus, and the third is P. lineatus.
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