Devario shanensis

This small species is ideal for a hillstream biotope.


Devario shanensis was first described by Hora in 1928. Currently this species is also known as: Danio shanensis, Brachydanio shanensis and Inlecypris shanensis. These names are, however, seen as synonyms.


Devario shanensis has a bege basis coloration with dark green, vertical bars on the side of the body. On the tail, one dark green, horizontal bar can be seen. The body itself is elongated with transparent finns. Devario shanensis looks very similar to I. maetaengensis. The differences are so small that even experts find it hard to separate the species..

Sexual differences can be seen on basis of the colors and size of the fish. Females are rounder bellied, whereas males have brighter colors. This differences is especially clear when the fish are ready for mating.

Distribution and habitat

Devario shanensis can be found in Shan state in the Northeast of Myanmar. Here the species occurs, for instance, in the rivers Salween and Duthawadi.
In its natural habitat is this species found in hill streams, pools and ricefields. The water is very clear and the substrate consist of sand, pebbles and rocks.


In the natural habitat, Devario shanensis has a carnivorous diet. They eat small animals such as insects and their larvae. In the aquarium, feeding Devario shanensis is rather easy. They will accept live, frozen and fabricated foods. To keep the fish in an optimal shape, the fish need to have enough variation in their diet.

The aquarium

The aquarium should be set up as a hillstream. This can be done by offering a substrate of sand and gravel and place various sized rocks and pebbles as decoration. As the water is clean, clear and contains a high amount of oxygen in its natural habitat, a large filter is recommended. The filter will also help to create a strong current in the tank. Keep in mind that the lid on the tank is closed. Devario shanensis can and will jump out of the tank in an open aquarium.
Devario shanensis is a peaceful species. This makes it a suitable companion for community tanks. Do, however, make sure that the fish are kept in a decent shoal. A large shoal will improve the coloration and behaviour of these fish.


Devario shanensis is relatively easy to breed. When the fish are maintained correctly, frequent spawning can occur in a community tank. To increase the yield, however, a special aquarium for breeding will be needed to be set up. This breeding aquarium should have measures to prevent the fish to eat their eggs. This can be done by using wool mops, aquatic mosses, marbles or plastic grass. The water needs to be slightly acidic and relatively warm. A powerful filter can provide a strong current and enough oxygen for the fish.
When the fish are ready to mate, they can be placed in the breeding aquarium. Spawning will normally occur after 24 hours. 48 hours after the introduction of the fish, they need to be captured again, regardless of spawning is observed or not. The eggs will hatch after 24 to 36 hours, this depends on the watertemperature. A few days after hatching the young will begin to swim freely. As soon as the fry has hatched, they can be fed with Paramecium. Once the fry is large enough, Artemia nauplia can be provided.


Devario shanensis summary page. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2017, from

California Academy of Sciences. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2017, from

‘Inlecypris’ shanensis (Danio shanensis , Devario shanensis). (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2017, from


R. Eltingh

Copyright Photographs

Hung-You Chen


Additional information





Length maximum in cm

Minimum aquarium length in cm

Temperature maximum

Temperature minimum

GH maximum

GH minimum

pH maximum

pH minimum


Social Behaviour

Breeding behaviour


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