Barb (puntimachh) name for some freshwater fish species of the family Cyprinidae, order Cypriniformes. Ten species of barbs under two genera Puntius (9 species) and Oreichthys (1 species) are found in Bangladesh. The moderate to deeply compressed body of this fish is silvery to greenish silvery or reddish brown in colour. Spots, blotches, bands on the body, and 4, 2 or no barbels are important identifying characters. Body length varies from 5 cm to about 20 cm.
The genus Puntius and Oreichthys have the following species: (a) Rosy Barb (P. conchonius)- body silvery, dark along the back; scales with dark bases; body deeper and flatter than other barbs; attains a length of about 10 cm; barbels absent. There is a large black spot on the side above the posterior portion of the anal fin. In the breeding season some individuals exhibit red and purple colour on the sides. Lateral line incomplete. (b) Chola Barb (P. chola)- Silvery body, attains a length of about 12 cm. Dorsal part more convex than that of abdomen; maxillary barbels one pair.
There is a dark blotch on the side of the tail, a black blotch at the base of the 2nd to 5th ray of the dorsal and one to two rows of dark spots along its centre. In the breeding season males develop a red band along the side from the end of the opercle to the forked end of the caudal fin. Lateral line complete. (c) Golden Barb (P. gelius)- Reddish brown body moderately compressed, attains a length of about 13 cm. Barbels absent; lateral line incomplete; a black band over the tail, and a deep black spot at the root of the anterior dorsal rays. In the breeding season dorsal and caudal fins and the posterior region turn red and orange. (d) Glass Barb (P. guganio)- Brownish silvery body, attains a length of about 11 cm. Lateral line incomplete; barbels usually absent. (e) Dwarf Barb (P. phutunio)- Greenish silvery body attains a length of about 12 cm. Barbels absent; lateral line incomplete; two vertically elongated broad bands, one from the back to the middle of the pectoral and another from the back to the posterior end of the anal base; during breeding season the dorsal and pectoral fins appear light yellow, pelvics and anal orange. (f) Olive Barb (P. sarana)- Moderately compressed silvery body, attains a length of about 10 cm. Barbels two pairs, lateral line complete; opercle shot with gold; sometimes a small dot behind gill opening. (g) Spotfin Swamp Barb (P. sophore)- Moderately compressed, silvery body, attains a length of about 13 cm. Barbels absent; lateral line complete; during the breeding season a scarlet red band develops along the middle of either side in males, which is not distinct in the female. (h) Onespot Barb (P. terio)- Silvery; dorsal part of the body more convex than that of abdomen; attains a length of about 10 cm. Barbels are absent and the lateral line is incomplete. (i) Firefin Barb (P. ticto)- Body compressed, silvery, attains a length of about 12 cm. Barbels absent; lateral line incomplete; two black spots, the smaller one near the commencement of the lateral line, the large one behind the base of the anal fin. During the breeding season flanks turn red. (j) Cosuatis Barb (Oreichthys cosuatis)-Body moderately compressed; reddish brown; attains a length of about 12 cm. Barbels are absent; and lateral line is interrupted. [Nashida Banu]