|Genus:|| Puntius |
F. Hamilton, 1822
| Cyprinus sophore |
F. Hamilton, 1822
Puntius is a genus of small freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae native to South Asia and Mainland Southeast Asia, as well as Taiwan.
Many species formerly placed in Puntius have been moved to other genera such as Barbodes , Dawkinsia , Desmopuntius , Haludaria , Oliotius , Pethia , Puntigrus , Sahyadria and Systomus .
The name Puntius comes from Pungti (Pronounced Puti), a Bangla term for small cyprinids.
Fishes of the genus Puntius are found in South Asia (west to Pakistan and south to Sri Lanka) and Mainland Southeast Asia, with a single species, P. snyderi , in Taiwan.The greatest species richness is in India.
The maximum size for an adult of this genus is 25 cm (10 in), but most species reach 7–15 cm (2.8–5.9 in) and some species do not surpass 5 cm (2 in). In appearance they may resemble miniature carp and are sometimes brightly coloured or patterned.
These fishes are omnivorous; their diet includes small invertebrates and plant matter. Breeding is by egg scattering and takes place close to the bottom, near or within areas of dense plant growth. They do not show parental care and adults may eat the young.
Historically, many species of Puntius have been classified in several genera, including Barbus . Despite the reclassifications, the specific epithet remains the same in these – except in cases of homonymies – as Barbus and Puntius have the same grammatical gender. The closest living relatives of the spotted barbs are the genus Cyprinion and perhaps the genus Capoeta . These and the other "typical" barbs and barbels were formerly often separated as subfamily Barbinae, but this group is highly paraphyletic with regard to the Cyprininae and better merged there at least for the largest part (including Puntius). In particular the genus Barbonymus , containing the tinfoil barb and its relatives – for some time included in Puntius– appears to be a kind of carp that has evolved convergently with barbs.
These are the currently recognized species in this genus:
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Rohan David Pethiyagoda is a Sri Lankan biodiversity scientist, amphibian and freshwater-fish taxonomist, author, conservationist and public-policy advocate.
Dawkinsia is a genus of cyprinid fishes from freshwater in South India and Sri Lanka. It was split off from genus Puntius in 2012.
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