One more fish chasing trip!! and this one was much better than last years as we found quite a few loaches. This trip was to explore river Sita (but not limited to), a west flowing river in western ghats of Karnataka (state). We were 5 member team - Trevor, Nayak, Madhu, Rufus and me.
On the first day we just explored few small streams on the way to the place we were supposed to stay for next couple of days. The first catch was to show what was in store for us in this trip.
A big Acanthacobitis moreh caught by Madhu.
he is little short of 5"
Few biotope snaps
other fishes caught were -
Rasbora daniconius (you wont find a water body without these)
The next day we explored river Sita at various places.
Madhu being a very patient guy caught the following loaches with hand nets.
Nemacheilus sp (yet to be ID'd)
Madhu catching loaches
Other fishes caught from river Sita -
We drove quite a bit up and down the river and also asked local people regarding streams and other water bodies. There were many streams which just had danios, rasboras, killies etc. Nayak being a vetaran fish chaser, stopped near one more stream and insisted that we get down and have a look. It was fast flowing compared to other streams and much cooler. We could spot few loaches and went in with nets.
We could catch couple of Schistura semiarmatus and S denisonii. There was a bit darker guy and after few minutes of juggling nets (Thanks Madhu for teaching me this) I could catch the guy. And Madhu jumped up shouting Schistura nilgiriensis. We spent some more time catching more of these beauties and headed back to our hotel.
Lesson learnt - Had we just gone ahead without checking the stream, we would not have come across the loach that I have been searching for last couple of years. Thank you Nayak.
This was our final day and we started at 5am to check few places down river. Madhu caught a gobi.
We headed back towards home, again stopping at places where time permitted. We caught -
Schistura nilgiriensis (Thanks Rufus for the big net idea)
Schistura denisonii (Never seen such biggies in wild)
Schistura semiarmatus (soo many that we started leaving them back)
Psilorhynchus tenura - A relative of hillstream loaches (but not loaches) - Actually termed as torrent minnows
After three days of hunting for fishes and getting almost all of my fishy wishes granted, all I can say is this was a very educational, fun filled trip. A big thank you to all team members for putting up with such a nutt. But...... the itch wont stop. Now im dreaming about Botia striata in the wild!!!!!
Few snaps of Schistura nilgiriensis in my tank
The trip thread including non-loachy catch and more can be read here -
http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/commu ... 413#197413
Photographs by Trevor and Rasika Nayak (Posted here with their permission)
I'm am hoping to find some of the Crimson Loach.
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- Martin Thoene
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Actually we were quite confused with these two and on a second trip, Nayak, Madhu and others went to Nagodi - Sharavati drianage just to catch few S nagodiensis and to confirm what we caught earlier were the same. Our earlier catches were further south in Tunga and Bhadra drainages.
And Schistura nilgiriensis are different from Schistura sp crimson as far as I know.
We can't key them out wrt. color. Now we know that there are a "complex" of Red Schisturas. Three valid species I know that I have are kodaguensis, nagodiensis & nilgriensis. S.nilgriensis has 9-11 black bands whereas nagodiensis has 7 bands most of them ending 2/3 of the body and not reaching to the anterior end. nagodiensis also has a band on its lower lip which is absent in nilgriensis.
As of now I don't thing there is any paper that differentiates what is exported as sp. Crimson to S.nilgriensis even though they seem to have some difference.
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