Inlecypris auropurpureus

Inlecypris auropurpureus is a rare species that can only be found in lake Inlé and the surrounding waters.



Inlecypris auropurpureus was first described by Annandale in 1918. Over time, the species has known other names which are now considered to be synonyms. It is, therefore, possible to find this species as Barilius auropurpureus and Devario auropurpureus.


Inlecypris auropurpureus has an elongated body with a gray coloration. On the flanks, short vertical bars can be found. These bars are yellow and black. The fins are transparent where only on the caudal fin displays some yellow coloration.

The differences between both sexes can be hard to distinguish. Females are slightly larger and rounder bellied, whereas males display more pronounced colors.

Distribution and Habitat

Inlecypris auropurpureus originates from lake Inlé and the surrounding waters. The lake itself is located in Myanmar in the province Shan. Lake Inlé is known for its floating islands. These islands are created by the local people by binding plants together. These Islands are strong enough to support agricultural activities. The native people row to these islands in boats, operating their paddles with one leg.

The lake has a depth of 2 to 3 meters with clear water. The substrate is loamy. The floating islands attract many different animals who seek shelter between the plants. It creates a good place to hide for predators and search for food.
As these fish are found in a relatively small area, local threats can have a severe impact on the population of these fish. Pollution, the introduction of new species and the capture for the aquarium trade, for a large threat in its natural environment. As a result of these problems, Inlecypris auropurpureus is classified as endangered by the IUCN.


Inlecypris auropurpureus has a carnivorous diet. In the wild it eats insects and their larvae. In an aquarium, however, fabricated foods are well accepted. Do keep in mind to feed these fish with a variety of foods to keep them in an optimal shape.

The aquarium

The aquarium should be decorated with a lot of plants. Besides normal plants that are placed in the substrate are floating plants a good addition to the tank. These floating plants provide shade for the fish. The aquarium itself should be closed. The fish can and will jump out of the tank when this is not the case.

Inlecypris auropurpureus is a peaceful but shy species. This shyness makes it an unsuitable companion to larger or aggressive fish. The level of shyness can be reduced by placing floating plant in the tank and adding more specimens to form a large shoal.


When the fish are kept in a good condition, spawning will occur in the community tank. However, as these fishes do not care for their eggs or young, the yield will be low. This can be solved by using a special breeding tank.
The aquarium for breeding should be decorated with materials that prevents the fish from eating their eggs. This can be done in various ways. Marbles or plastic grass can be placed as a substrate for the tank. Another option is to place a grate above the substrate with holes that are large enough for the eggs to fall through but prevent the parents to eat them. Aquatic mosses can also be placed in the tank as a spawning medium. In addition to these materials, the water itself should be rather warm and neutral to slightly acidic. As the fish and eggs prefer water that is rich in oxygen, a powerful filter is recommended.

When the fish are ready to spawn, a couple of them should be placed in the aquarium. Within 24 hours will they spawn their eggs which are 0.9 to 1.0 millimeter in size. The amount of time it takes to hatch depends on the temperature of the water. However, at a temperature ranging between 26 and 27 °C, the eggs will hatch after 49 to 56 hours. After hatching, the fry is about 3 milimeters long. As a consequence of its small size, it can only eat very small foods. Initially, Paramecium should be fed. Later, when the fish have grown large enough, larger foods such as artemia nauplia can be fed.


Devario auropurpureus . (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2017, from

Inlecypris auropurpurea (Devario auropurpureus, Barilius auropurpureus). (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2017, from

Kano, Y., Musikasinthorn, P., Iwata, A., Tun, S., Yun, L. K. C., Win, S. S., … & Watanabe, K. (2016). A dataset of fishes in and around Inle Lake, an ancient lake of Myanmar, with DNA barcoding, photo images and CT/3D models. Biodiversity data journal, (4).

Sado, T., & Kimura, S. (2006). Developmental morphology of the cyprinid fish Inlecypris aurop



Copyright photographs

Hung-You Chen

Additional information








Minimum aquarium length in cm

Length maximum in cm

Temperature minimum

Temperature maximum

pH minimum

pH maximum

GH maximum


Social Behaviour


Breeding behaviour


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