Alerts

Please note February 3rd to February 4th 2023, Zoomobile may be experiencing closures and delays due to weather and unforeseen circumstances.
Please note that due to the cold temperatures expected, the Conservation Carousel will be closed on Saturday, February 4.

Please also note our Zoomobile will now be taking an alternate route through the Eurasia Wilds and will no longer be travelling through the Eurasia Drive Thru.


Please note the following animals that may not be viewable at this time:

Americas Pavilion
Two-toed sloth, golden lion tamarin, white-faced saki, river otter, Eastern loggerhead shrike, and black-footed ferret are all currently not viewable due to habitat maintenance.

Eurasia Wilds
The Stellar Sea Eagles are currently not viewable.

Canadian Domain: 
Closed for the season.

African Savanna:
Some animals may not be viewable due to decreasing temperatures.

Kids Zoo
Closed for the season.


Saturday, February 25 - Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause 5K/1K Run/Walk

Please be advised that your Toronto Zoo and Canada Running Series will be hosting the Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause 5K/1K Run/Walk at the Zoo on February 25th to raise funds for the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy and polar bear conservation. 

Please note the following operational impacts:

  • For their well-being, some animals along the Move Your Paws route may be delayed going out on habitat in the morning. Guests may experience slight delays on other pathways as the run finishes and the race route is cleared. 
    • Tundra Trek: Caribou will not be visible and the path to the Caribou habitat will be closed for the entire day
  • Zoomobile: Begins operating at 11:45 am
Tinfoil Barb
Tinfoil Barb
Fish

Location at the Zoo:
Indo-Malaya
Region: Southeast Asia


Tinfoil barb

The tinfoil barb has a notable red dorsal fin with a black blotch at its tip. Their pectoral, pelvic and anal fins are also red. Large individuals are silvery or golden yellow in colour. Their common name (tinfoil barb) is derived from the “tin-plated” look of the scales. They can grow up to 35 cm in length, but more commonly 20 cm. No discernable differences exist between males and females. Albino, glass and golden tinfoil varieties exist. There are also blue, pink, purple, and orange colour forms. These variations are the result of selective breeding, and have been created for the pet trade.

Conservation Status: IUCN




Distribution:

Southeast Asia: the Mekong and Chao Phraya river basins, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo. They have been successfully introduced to Taiwan.

Habitat:

Freshwater: found in medium to large rivers, streams, ditches, canals, and even flooded fields. They are benthopelagic (fish having neutral buoyancy), which allow them to float. They range from the bottom to the middle layers of the water column.

Diet:

Tinfoil barbs are mainly plant eaters (herbivores), consuming aquatic macrophytes (plants large enough to be observed, as opposed to phytoplankton - those that are microscopic in size). They also eat submerged land plants, as well as algae and occasionally insects. They will also feed on smaller fish, worms and crustaceans opportunistically.

Reproduction:

Tinfoil barbs migrate back to their natal spawning ground to reproduce. They are an egg-scattering species, so they do not care for their eggs after spawning. Female tinfoil barbs can produce several thousand eggs per spawn. They have a lifespan of 20 years.

Adaptation:

Tinfoil barbs are good swimmers and are a schooling species. “Schooling” behaviour has several advantages. To potential predators, a school might appear to be one large fish. As well, schools provide "safety in numbers" - predators simply cannot consume them all. The sheer number of fish in a school allows individuals to hide behind each other, thus confusing a predator by the alteration of shapes and colours presented as the school swims along.

Threats to Survival:

Over-collection in their native habitats as well as pollution may, at some future date, pose threats to these fish. Tinfoil barbs have not been evaluated by the IUCN, but because they are commercially important in the aquarium hobby trade, commercial aquaculture and subsistence farming - they are currently not at risk.