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Is this B. lecontei? *PIC*

Posted By: Francis Lynch <flynch@interaccess.com>
Date: Thursday, 3 May 2001, at 11:46 p.m.

Recently I found a single individual of the pictured species at one of the better fish shops in the Chicago area. I had to wait a day for the person in charge of fish purchasing to come in and determine the price. Turns out he (the purchaser for the store) found it in a batch of zipper loaches (which everyone, including myself, acknowledges that is definitely NOT), so he listed it as a zipper loach and that's the price I paid for the fish. It is unquestionably a Botia species, and based on the species index here on LOL, I believe it must be B. lecontei, despite the fact that none of the images really look very much like this fish. The body is a uniform silvery gray color, and the segmentation is not at all as apparent to the eye as to the flash camera. Still, referring to the excellent article by Steven Grant on the B. modesta complex and applying the visual key it provides, I arrive at B. lecontei, and the overall shape of the fish, plus the faint yellow color to the dorsal and caudal fins and the spot at the base of the tail, does seem to match. I would welcome any other opinions.

I like this fish and would love to find more individuals of this species (alas, the store only had one left when I found it, if indeed they ever had more than one). The fish is mildly aggressive to the other Botias in the tank (which includes almorhae, dario, and histrionica) but not persistently so. It spends some time hiding behind a piece of slate in the back of the tank, but comes out frequently and perches on the bottom (as in the photograph, on its favorite piece of slate), and swims with that little hitching motion that many Botias have. A great addition to the collection of a loach lunatic like myself! Any information from other aquarists who have kept this species would be welcome.

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