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Eyespot Rasbora

Scientific Name: Brevibora dorsiocellata
Family: Cyprinidae, Sub-Family Rasborinae

About the Eyespot Rasbora

Species Type: Freshwater Fish
Category: Cyprinids

Care Level: Easy. Does well in a slightly more narrow range of water parameters and shouldn't be used to cycle an aquarium. Will eat most prepared foods. May have some specific care requirements in terms of particular water parameters, social behaviors, food items etc.

Origin: Malay Peninsula and Indonesia. Inhabits slow-flowing streams in peat swamp forests.

Compatibility/Temperament: Very peaceful, must be kept in a group of at least six. Suitable for a community of similar non-aggressive fishes such as other rasbora, small species loaches, smaller gourami species, characins, Corydoras.


This sparkling gem of a rasbora will only look its best in a well planted aquarium with a dark substrate and subdued lighting; floating plants will help achieve this. Its colouration will also be more intense in water lightly stained by tannins, a feature of its natural habitat. This effect can be created by wood, peat and dried leaves.

Like most of the rasbora, it is not an active swimming fish but more quiet and sedate; this makes it an ideal tankmate for the smaller gourami species. This fish prefers the upper half of the aquarium, rarely venturing lower.

Mature females are rounder and slightly larger than males. Like most of the cyprinids, this species is an egg scatterer and will continuously spawn on its own in a well-planted soft water aquarium. Adults will eat what eggs they see, but some usually survive. This fish has a lifespan of 4-6 years.

It is likely that this species' colouration varies with the locality. Most fish available in the hobby have a bright blue eye; one form also has a reddish sheen on the caudal peduncle and caudal fin base, and is possibly wild-caught.

When originally described by G. Duncker in 1904, this fish was named Rasbora dorsiocellata; the species name (and the common name) refers to the distinctive spot in the dorsal fin. A closely-patterned fish was described by H. Meinken (1951) as a subspecies, Rasbora dorsiocellata macrophthalma, but this species was proposed as distinct [Rasbora macrophthalma] by S. Grant in 2002.

Rasbora has been a "catch-all" genus for 138 species of small minnow-type fish. Ichthyologists have especially during the last two decades questioned the relationships between many of these species, and Maurice Kottelat and others recognized that the genus was polyphyletic [Greek, "of many races"] which in this instance means it contains species whose last common ancestor is not included. Several species were subsequently transferred out of Rasbora into Microrasbora [now considered a Danio], Boraras and Trignonstigma; these latter two are monophyletic, meaning that they include the ancestor and all descendants.

In 2009, Te Yu Liao, Sven Kullander and Fang Fang published the results of a phylogenetic study of the genus Rasbora; recognizing that the genus was not monophyletic, they erected four new genera for several of the existing species on the basis of osteological characteristics. Brevibora takes its name from the Latin brevis ("short") and -bora [from Rasbora] and refers to the fewer (8-9) predorsal vertebrae in this fish. The subject species, B. dorsiocellata, is the type species and currently the only species in the genus. R. macrophthalma will presumably also be placed in this genus.

Eyespot Rasbora Diet

Carnivorous in nature, feeding on worms, insects and crustaceans. Accepts most prepared foods; frozen daphnia and bloodworms; live worms, artemia and insects.


Attains just under 1.5 inches.

Minimum Tank Suggestion

10 gallons.

Ideal water parameters for Eyespot Rasbora

Soft to moderately hard (under 10 dGH), acidic to slightly basic (pH 5 to 7.5) water, temperature 20-26C/68-79F. Available fish are likely to be commercially raised and thus more adaptable to the given ranges, but wild-caught fish require soft acidic water.

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