Danio rerio 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae

Scientific Name: Danio rerio
Species Authority: (Hamilton, 1822)
Taxonomic Notes: Hamilton (1822) described Cyprinus rerio from Gangetic provinces. Shrestha (1978) treated it under genus Danio. 

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-09
Assessor(s): Vishwanath, W.
Reviewer(s): Barbhuiya, A.H., Juffe Bignoli, D., Rema Devi, K.R., Dahanukar, N. & Chaudhry, S.
Contributor(s): Molur, S.

Danio rerio is very widely distributed species with a few populations threatened from overexploitation for ornamental fisheries.  Otherwise, the species is not threatened in its entire range and with the recommendation of continuing monitoring of population trends, it is assessed as Least Concern presently.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Danio rerio is a widely distributed species, known througout India to Nepal in the north and from Sutlej River in the west and in the east in West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh.
Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal); Nepal
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1083000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


It is difficult to assess the population of the species. It is not common in the natural water bodies. It breeds easily in nature. Aquarists have also artificially bred the fish successfuly. In Nepal the catch per unit effort (CPUE) of this species is up to 1.88 %. In Arunachal Pradesh the catch rate is 1.9 % (Tamang et al. 2007).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The species is an annual species. Adults inhabit streams, canals, ditches, ponds and beels occur in slow-moving to stagnant standing water bodies, particularly rice-fields and lower reaches of streams common in rivulets at foot hills. Feed on worms and small crustaceans,  also on insect larvae. Breed all year round. Spawning is induced by temperature and commences at the onset of the monsoon season. Food availability also acts as cue for breeding.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Danio rerio is one of the most popular aquarium fishes being extremely active and graceful. Its blue and silver horizontal stripes, its constant activity, the ease with which it is kept and fed, and its inoffensive nature make it a prime favourite with most tropical fish hobbyists. Besides the fact that it is an egg-layer and, therefore, not as easily raised as the livebearers, the Zebra Danio is probably the finest small tropical aquarium fish known. It is strikingly beautiful coloured, easy to feed, and resistant to disease. It attains a length of 4.5 cm. It is hardy and easy to breed; desirable in community tank, and is easily maintained. It is also grown in captivity to use for experimental science.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Being a popular aquarium fish, it might suffer from over exploitation resulting in fluctuation of individuals.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Although it has been reported from Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, it is also distributed in many unprotected areas. Thus, clearly there is a need for improved habitat protection at sites where this species is known to occur. Further survey work is needed to confirm whether or not this species is experiencing a widespread decline, or is undergoing extreme population fluctuations.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Hamilton, F. 1822. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches. Edinburgh & London.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Jha, B.R. 2009. Fish ecological studies in assessing ecological integrity of rivers: Application in rivers of Nepal. VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Germany.

Shrestha, J. 1978. Fish fauna of Nepal. Journel of NAtural History Museum Tribhuvan University. 5(1-4): 33-43.

Tamang, L., Chaudhry, S. and Choudhury, D. 2007. Ichthyofaunal contribution to the state and comparison of habitat contiguity on taxonomic diversity in Senkhi Stream, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 104(2): 170–177.

Citation: Vishwanath, W. 2010. Danio rerio. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T166487A6219667. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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