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Mystacoleucus lepturus HUANG, 1979

Etymology

Mystacoleucus: from the Ancient Greek μύσταξ (mústaks), meaning ‘upper lip, moustache’, and the generic name Leuciscina, which is not currently in use.

lepturus: from the Ancient Greek λεπτός (leptós), meaning ‘slender, thin’, and οὐρά (ourá), meaning ‘tail’, presumably in reference to this species’ relatively slender caudal peduncle.

Classification

Order: Cypriniformes Family: Cyprinidae

Distribution

Known only from the upper Mekong River basin in southern China (where the river is known as Lancang Jiang), Laos, and Thailand. Records from Vietnam and Hainan Island are incorrect and refer to other species.

Type locality is ‘Tributary of Lancang Jiang, Mengna (Mengla) Xian, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China’.

Habitat

Predominantly a riverine fish favouring clear, well-oxygenated, running water with substrates of sand or gravel and often present in rock and boulder-filled headwater streams.

Maximum Standard Length

85 – 95 mm.

NotesTop ↑

This species can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: body relatively slender, depth fitting 3.4-3.8 times in SL; 32-33 + 2 lateral line scales; 14 circumpeduncular scale rows; presence of a single pair of barbels; black distal margin on dorsal-fin; numerous body scales with dark, crescent-shaped markings.

All Mystacoleucus species possess a procumbent predorsal spine orientated towards the head, though it can be difficult to spot with the naked eye. This can become entangled in an aquarium net so care must be taken when handling the fish.

The trait is shared by members of Tor, Spinibarbus and Paraspinibarbus although there exists no strong evidence to suggest that these genera form a monophyletic lineage and it is likely that they developed the spine independantly of one another. Mystacoleucus spp. can be further identified by the presence of 6-10 branched anal-fin rays and 24-39 lateral line scales.

References

  1. Huang, S.-Y., 1979 - Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica 4(4): 419-421
    Notes on fishes of the genus Mystacoleucus from southern Yunnan, China, with description of a new species.
  2. Kottelat, M., 2000 - Journal of South Asian Natural History 5(1): 83-90
    Notes on taxonomy, nomenclature and distribution of some fishes of Laos.
  3. Kottelat, M., 2001 - WHT Publications, Colombo: 1-198
    Fishes of Laos.
  4. Kottelat, M., 2013 - Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 27: 1-663
    The fishes of the inland waters of southeast Asia: a catalogue and core bibiography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries.
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