Physical Characteristics of the Puntius Denisonii Fish - fish-hobbyist

Physical Characteristics of the Puntius Denisonii Fish

The physical characteristics of the Puntius denisonii fish are silver bodies with a striking red line that elongates from their snout toward the middle of their body.

Puntius denisonii fish is one of the most popular fish among tank lovers and also known as Sahyadria denisonii, Denison barb, Miss Kerala, and red line torpedo barb. It looks handsome with its red stripes over black stripes along its head to its body. To know more about the physical characteristics of the Puntius denisonii fish, read on.

Native Habitat

Puntius denisonii fish comes from the family of Cyprinidae. This freshwater buddy has a restricted distribution. Due to over-harvesting, this red-line torpedo barb is now on the endangered list.

Puntius denisonii fish’s original habitat is Kerala and Karnataka in southern India. They are endemic to three rivers: Chaliyar, Achankovil, and Cheenkannipuzha. They like to inhabit highly oxygenated hill streams and stony pools with bushy vegetation along the riverfront.

Physical Characteristics

Puntius denisonii features a silver body with a striking red line that elongated from its snout, through its eye, toward the rear of the middle of its body. Right under the red stripe, you can see a black stripe that runs from the halfway of their body to the tail. 

Adult red-line torpedo barb will promote a particular green or blue marking on top of their front. They can reach up to 15 centimeters or 5.9 inches, but mostly they will only grow to 11 centimeters or 4.3 inches. They love to come to a shallow.

Colors and Markings

Other physical characteristics of the Puntius denisonii fish are their long body shape and their look like a torpedo. Their silver figure is attributed to a black line that starts from the whole length of their body, from muzzle to back.

These silver and black lines are contrasted by a blazing ruby line that lays right over the black line, running from the snout through the eye and keeping up to the middle part of their figure. You will also see the dazzling red characteristics on the edge of their dorsal fin.

Their tail offers a beautiful bluish color along with black and yellow tips. The school of Puntius denisonii is mostly spotted in a large sandbank. Their diets include algae, insects, mollusks, and crustaceans. During November and January, female fish lay their eggs.

To differentiate the male and female Puntius denisonii is by observing their size. Female fish is a little bigger and bulkier. Female Puntius denisonii also has heavier body and are less colorful than male Puntius denisonii.


Puntius denisonii is quite popular among fish hobbyists. However, due to their beauty which led to massive trade, Miss Kerala is facing a threat to its survival. They are highly captured for the international aquarium trade. Puntius denisonii trade contributes 60-65% of total ornamental fish exported from India.

Besides being captured for ornamental fish trade, Puntius denisonii is also threatened due to agriculture, mining, hydroelectric projects, and urban expansion.

Those are the physical characteristics of the Puntius denisonii fish. Although coming from wild habitat, Miss Kerala does well in captivity. However, as freshwater fish, they need high oxygen rate water.

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