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A general note about Gourami common naming conventions:
I can not in good conscience begin on the subject of Colisa lalia, the Dwarf Gourami, without stressing the importance of scientific names. Gouramis are one of the fish that should always be addressed and sold by scientific names to curb the confusion of both the fishkeeper and the retailer. Currently, the common naming convention of these fish is virtually non-existent. I have seen Colisa lalia labeled, and sold, as honey, dwarf honey, sunset dwarf honey, fire red dwarf honey, flame gourami, blue sunset dwarf honey, blue flame honey, neon blue gourami, coral blue dwarf gourami, powder blue gourami, blue dwarf, blue gourami, and probably 100 other iterations of names. How in the world is the average fish keeper going to know what they have?
So, let me talk briefly about other gouramis, as well. The relevance of this will become aparent.
Colisa chuna, or Colisa sota (the scientific designation was changed at some point, but sota is still being used) is a very small gourami often maxing out at 1 - 1.5 inches in size, these gouramis are often sold by the name honey gourami, sometimes red honey gourami or golden honey gourami. Colisa chuna is the true Honey Gourami. Colisa chuna pictured.
Colisa labiosa a mid-range size gourami similar in size and color with Colisa lalia, and is commonly known as Thick Lipped Gourami. Colisa labiosa pictured below.
Trichogaster trichopterus is a larger gourami, often growing to 5 inches. And can be distinguished from other gouramis by it's spotty appearance. They are also known as 3 Spot Gouramis. You will see variants of these with the common names of three spot gourami, blue gourami, opaline gourami and golden gourami. Trichogaster trichopterus, opaline variant pictured.
Now for Colisa lalia. Colisa lalia in it's wild form has come to us from Asia and India. The males are bright blue with marvelous red to orange striping, with the females being quite paler in color. Colisa lalia is similar in size, shape and color with Colisa labiosa and Colisa fasciata. However, both labiosa and fasciata are rarely seen for sale. Colisa lalia has been manipulated through selective breeding to bring out certain color variations. But also, cross-bred with other similar sized gouramis, as well. This, I imagine, is where all of the various names have come from, trying to discern the various colorations of the fish. Baensch Aquarium Atlas seems to have felt that this was important enough to have Colisa lalia profiled twice, using the synonym "bred form" under the Atlas 2 profile of the fish.
General Body Form:
Wild type coloring will have a blue and red diagonally striped body including the fins. Color variants have been selectively bred from powder blue to bright red, with many variations in between. The body is oblong-round, with a rounded face. This fish like most other gouramis, sport the distinguished whispy, hair-like, pelvic fins.
Dwarf Gourami- Fise base
Baensch Aquarium Atlas 1, Fifth English Edition 1996
Baensch Aquarium Atlas 2, Fifth English Edition 1998
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