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Schistura mahnerti


Schistura mahnerti
Red Tail Sand Loach
马氏南鳅
Schistura mahnerti is a species of tropical freshwater fish of the family Balitoridae and subfamily Nemacheilidae. It inhabits fast-flowing streams of Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). S. mahnerti is one of the more recent species to be introduced to the aquarium trade.
Other common names for this fish include the Burmese-border sand loach and red-tail sand loach. It is sometimes mislabeled as a zebra loach or Burmese Border loach, which are both members of the genus Botia.
Red-tail sand loaches share common characteristics with its genus-mates in Schistura: elongated bodies, flat bellies and striped coloration. Finnage may take a reddish hue as the fish matures. This sand loach shows sexual dimorphism via suborbital flaps, present only in males. Movement is characterized by short, rapid bursts from one point to another. The maximum known size is 3 inches 
The stripe pattern is common to many Schistura species, complicating identification. Along with suborbital flaps missing in some other species, S. mahnerti has at least 9 caudal rays. The stripes resemble the split bands of a zebra or tiger up front, then turn into thick solid bands toward the tail.
S. mahnerti requires plenty of hiding spaces separated by visual barriers to distinguish its territory. Although it can be taught to accept flake food in captivity, it prefers a largely carnivorous diet of mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and small insects.
Schistura mahnerti comes from the Salween River, which flows from the Himalayas eastward as the border to Thailand and Burma.
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