The gold barb has a steeply-sloped back and short barbels positioned at the corners of the mouth. A number of dark vertical bars or blotches are visible along the flanks of the fish. Well-conditioned specimens may also have red coloration on the fins.

The naturally occurring color of this barb is green, but the green Puntius semifasciolatus is rarely seen in the aquarium trade due to the overwhelming popularity of the gold form. Virtually all specimens currently sold are captive-bred, and a few other color variations have subsequently arisen, including an albino variant as well as a tricolor variation.


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