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Family: Cyprinidae, Subfamily Rasborinae

Common Name: Eye Spot Rasbora

Origin and Habitat: 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.

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.

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.


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 epithet refers to the distinctive spot in the dorsal fin, from which characteristic the common name "Eyespot" also derives. A closely-patterned fish was described by H. Meinken (1951) as a subspecies, Rasbora dorsiocellata macrophthalma, and although this fish was subsequently proposed as a distinct species, Rasbora macrophthalma by S. Grant in 2002, it is now deemed to be conspecific with the subject species and therefore neither a distinct species or subspecies (Liao & Tan, 2011).

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, Fang, et. al. published the results of their 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 this genus.


Fang, F., M. Noren, T.-Y. Liao, M. Källersjö and S. O. Kullander (2009), "Molecular phylogenetic interrelationships of the south Asian cyprinid genera Danio, Devario and Microrasbora (Teleostei, Cyprinidae, Danioninae)," Zoologica Scripta volume 38 (no. 3), pp. 237-156.

Liao, T.-Y. and H.H. Tan (2011), "Brevibora cheeya, a new species of cyprinid fish from Malay Peninsula and Sumatra," The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, volume 59 (no. 1), pp. 77-82.

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