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Trigonostigma espei

Trigonostigma espei
Slim Harlequin Rasbora
Like its close relative the Harlequin Rasbora (T. heteromorpha), this strikingly-similar fish is also a good choice for beginning aquarists. It adapts to varying water parameters that are not extreme, is colourful, extremely peaceful, and reasonably active. Although the two habitat locales are different, this fish seems to prefer a thickly-planted and dimly lit aquarium with a dark substrate; swimming room is essential. In such a setup, with soft, acidic water, and conditioned with live and/or frozen foods, the fish will readily spawn.

Females are rounder than males, while males are slightly more colourful. The "lambchop" mark is more pointed on males, more rounded on females. Eggs are laid on the underside of plant leaves; parents will eat the eggs if not separated immediately after spawning.

This fish shares a near-identical colour and pattern with two other rasbora, Trigonostigma heteromorpha and T. hengeli. The subject species has a thinner body, is a copper-reddish colouration somewhat variable as shown in the accompanying photos, and the dark side mark is narrow and "lambchop" in appearance. A fourth species in the genus, T. somphongsi, has a dark broad stripe [rather than a triangular mark] that runs laterally below an iridescent stripe; this species occurs in the basin and floodplain of the Menam River in Thailand and is very rare.