A new blind loach, Oreonectes elongatus sp. nov. (Cypriniformes: Balitoridae) from Guangxi, China
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A new loach, Oreonectes elongatus sp. nov. is described based on collections from Mulun Township, Huanjiang County, Guangxi in China. It is distinguished from its congeners by the combination of the following characters: most elongate body (body depth/SL 8.62–10.68%), blind, a forked caudal fin, obvious adipose dorsal crest and ventral crest; entire body naked and de-pigmented. Although the new species has a similar distribution with O. macrolepis, it can be distinguished by scales (absent in O. elongatus vs. present in O. macrolepis), shape of snout (elongate vs. round), the opposite position of the dorsal and pelvic fins origins (behind vs. front). The new species shares the same possession of dorsal and ventral crests, a forked caudal fin, eyeless, naked body and incomplete lateral line with O. translucens, but can be distinguished from the latter by caudal fin crest (more developed and translucent in O. translucens), longer anterior nostril tube and barbel, extreme of pectoral fin reaching 2/3 of the distance between origin of pectoral and pelvic fins, more vertebrae (4 + 38–39 vs. 4 + 32).
KeywordsOreonectes elongatus sp.nov. Balitoridae New species Cavefish China
We would like to thank Tian Mingyi working in South China Research Center of Insect Diversity, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China for kindly providing fish specimens used in the study. We also give many thanks to Jared B. Lee in University of Georgia for kindly polishing our manuscript in language. This study was run mainly by a grant (NSFC-31071884) from the National Science Foundation of China, and supported by grants (2008BAC39B06 and O529YX5105) from the National Key Technologies Research and Development Program and the Key Laboratory of the Zoological Systematics and Evolution of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as well.
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