Barb, Java (Barbonymus gonionotus)
The Java Barb is a member of the Cyprinidae family of fishes and is widely distributed throughout Thailand and Asia in the Mekong and Chao Phraya basins, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Java. The Java Barb occurs throughout the whole stretch on the Mekong, from the delta around the saline intrusion zone to Chiang Khong in Northern Thailand. The Java Barb has a strongly compressed body with an elevated back with its dorsal profile arched, often concave above the occiput.
The head of the Java Barb is small with a snout and very minute or rudimentary barbules, especially the upper ones, which can sometimes disappear entirely.
The Java Barb’s displays a silvery white colouration throughout its scale covered body, sometimes with a golden tint. The dorsal and caudal fins of the Java Barb are grey to grey-yellow with the anal and pelvic fins displaying a light orange colouring with reddish tips, the pectoral fins of the Java Barb have pale to a light yellow colouration.
The Java Barb occurs from midwater to the bottom depths in rivers, streams, floodplains, and occasionally in reservoirs. The Java Barb seems to prefer still water habitats instead of fast flowing waters where it inhabits the flooded forest during high water.
This Thai carp species feeds on plant matter (e.g. leaves, weeds, Ipomea reptans and Hydrilla) in addition to invertebrates and has been used in reservoirs throughout Thailand to prevent excessive weed growth.
This species is classed as a migratory freshwater species which move up the Mekong River into smaller canals and tributaries during the raining season before returning when the raining season and waters subside.
The Java Barb is a highly popular eating fish that is regularly caught by recreational anglers throughout S.E.Asia.
Java Barb can be found it most freshwater environments in Thailand where they can be caught whilst fishing on various baits such as worms, grubs and pastes. Java Barb are present in the numerous fishing lakes and ponds throughout Thailand and S.E.Asia where they reach weights to 2 kg’s+