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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Subfamily: Danioninae
Genus: Danionella
T. R. Roberts, 1986
Type species
Danionella translucida
T. R. Roberts, 1986

See text

Danionella is a genus of danionin fish found in freshwater habitats in Myanmar and West Bengal, India. It includes some of the smallest fishes.


All species of Danionella are found in Myanmar. D. translucida is described from the Ayeyarwady River basin, and D. mirifica was described from the Kaiming area in upper Myanmar.[1]


When first described, Danionella translucida was the smallest ostariophysan and the smallest adult vertebrate to inhabit fresh water,[2] its adult size ranges from 10–12 millimetres (.43–.47 in) SL.[2] D. mirifica gets slightly larger, at about 14 mm (.55 in) SL, but is still one of the smallest freshwater fishes.[1][3]

Danionella species lack scales, barbels, and lateral line.[2]

D. mirifica has a single row of melanophores between the pelvic fins and the tips of the cleithra, and there is a lack of melanophores on the underside of the abdomen.[1]

D. dracula reaches 17 mm in length. It is neotonous, lacking 44 bones that develop late in the related zebrafish Danio rerio. They have teeth made of bone, rather than the true teeth of other fishes, and the males have a pair of boney fangs which the use for sparring for mates. Britz et al. believe the lineage lost true teeth about 50 Ma.[4]



  1. ^ a b c Britz, Ralf (October 2003). "Danionella mirifica, a new species of miniature fish from Upper Myanmar (Ostariophysi: Cyprinidae)" (PDF). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters. 14 (3): 217–222. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, Tyson R. (1986). "Danionella translucida, a new genus and species of cyprinid fish from Burma, one of the smallest living vertebrates". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 16 (4): 231–241. doi:10.1007/BF00842977.
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). "Danionella mirifica" in FishBase. August 2011 version.
  4. ^ Ralf Britz et al., Royal Society's journal Proceedings B, March 2009