IUCN threat status:

Data Deficient (DD)

Brief Summary

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General characteristics of Danionella dracula:
  • Body elongate
  • Body depth contained 6-7.5 times in standard length
  • Abdominal region almost circular in cross section, body behind anal fin laterally compressed
  • Caudal peduncle long, narrow, 1.7-2 times in body depth and laterally compressed
  • Head and eye large, mouth supraterminal
  • Upper and lower jaws massive in large males, resulting in longer preorbital distance
  • Nostrils well developed
  • Lateral line canals and pores on head and body absent
  • Dorsal fin short-based, situated opposite posterior half of long-based anal fin
  • Caudal fin furcate with remnants of larval-fin-fold in front of its dorsal and ventral margins
  • Remnant of pre-anal larval-fin-fold present in females only
  • Anus and genital papilla of males located distinctly anterior to anal fin between pelvic fins, in females at typical position in front of anal fin
  • Window (pseudotypanum) present in body musculature rendering pigmented surface of lateral side of anterior gas bladder chamber visible
  • Body muscles greatly thinned out at lateral side of posterior gas bladder chamber
  • Scales absent

Pigmentation-related characteristics:
Pigmentation in alcohol specimens is restricted to:
  • 5 rows of melanophores
    • a broad, mid-dorsal row from head to caudal-fin base
    • a mid-lateral row along horizontal septum from shoulder girdle to hypural plate
    • a ventral row from in front of and slightly above anal-fin base along ventral larval-fin-fold to the end of hypural plate
    • a row along anal-fin base
    • an abdominal, mid-ventral row from ventral tip of cleithrum to anus
  • melanophores capping dorsal and dorsolateral surface of gas bladder chambers and their connecting duct
In life, body is colourless and largely translucent, except for:
  • melanophore patterns described above
  • a thin yellow line running along body at level of neural tube


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