Max Size: 5.5cm

Snakeskin Barb (Desmopuntius Rhomboocellatus)

As a small, active, peaceful species, Snakeskin Barbs, Desmopuntius Rhomboocellatus, will make excellent additions to a planted aquarium or a community aquarium. In addition, these Barbs are a perfect choice for a moderately experienced aquarist looking for a school of smaller fish that will fill your tank's mid and upper reaches.

As Snakeskin Barbs are a schooling species, they should be kept in a group of 6-8 individuals, so they will feel more confident and provide a visually stunning display with the males fighting for the attention of the females.

Although Snakeskin Barbs may bicker amongst themselves occasionally, they are peaceful with other species of short-finned fish. These Barbs should be housed with other similarly sized fish with mild temperaments and similar water conditions. As well as Barbs, Danios, Garras, and Rasboras, peaceful Gouramis and larger peaceful Tetras can also make ideal tankmates. However, you should avoid housing these Barbs with boisterous or very energetic tankmates as they may be outcompeted for food.

Snakeskin Barbs have an elongated, compressed body. There are snake-like markings on both sides of their bodies, and their primary colour is an orangey red with green iridescence. Additionally, their dorsal fin is sail-like with a black and yellow edge, and their anal, pectoral, and caudal fins are transparent. Lastly, these Barbs have distinctive markings on their ocelli that serve as a deterrent to predators. The colouration of juvenile fish is typically paler with a peachy undertone.


Snakeskin barb
Snakeskin barb
Snakeskin barb
Snakeskin barb
Quick Facts
Scientific NameDesmopuntius Rhomboocellatus
Year Described1940
Other NamesRhombo Barb, Orange Buffalo Barb, Red Ocellated Barb
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5- 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 - 7.0
GH3 - 12
TDS18 - 90
68 - 82℉
20 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Snakeskin Barb will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Snakeskin Barb could include:

Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)

Sexual Dimorphism

Male and female Snakeskin Barbs can be distinguished relatively easily. It is usually the males that are smaller, slimmer, and more intensely coloured than the females. Females, especially when carrying eggs, have broader and fuller bodies than males.

Other Barbs of interest

African Banded Barb(Barbus fasciolatus)
Arulius Barb(Dawkinsia arulius, Puntius arulius)
Black Ruby Barb(Pethia nigrofasciata)
Blue Spotted Hill Trout(Barilius bakeri)
Borneo Red Fin Silver Shark(Cyclocheilichthys janthochir)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 10/09/2020 - Updated: 22/08/2022 14:03:31