Loach (fish)

Loaches

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Actinopterygii
Order:Cypriniformes
Family:Cobitidae
Genera


Subfamily Cobitinae Subfamily Botiinae


Loaches are freshwater fish of the family Cobitidae, small benthic (bottom-dwelling) fish with a flattened ventral profile. There are 160 different species of them. Loaches are mostly scavengers and are omnivorous, usually not very picky about their food. They may eat aquatic crustaceans, insects and other small invertebrates as well as scraps of organic detritus. Many live in waters of generally poor quality and feed on tubifex worms which are associated with those areas. Some have adapted to less-than-ideal water conditions by being able to gulp up atmospheric oxygen from the air. Loach species are distributed through Europe, Asia, and in Morocco. They mainly inhabit rapid-moving streams.

Because of their scavenging nature and their ability to adapt to many freshwater ecosystems, some loaches have been introduced to waters in regions which they are not native to and may pose problems to local wildlife as an invasive species.

Typical Features

The body forms of various loaches range from being vermiform (worm-shaped; long and thin) to Fusiform (spindle-shaped; cylindrical and tapering toward the ends). Most loaches do not have true scales. Like catfishes, loaches have the sensory organs known as barbels; usually 3-6 pairs of them. Some other characteristics of loaches are a small bottom-facing mouth suited to their scavenging benthic lifestyle, an erectile spine below the eye, and a single row of pharyngeal (throat) teeth. See also Spined Loach.

Economic Importance

Some loach species are popular as food fish in East Asian countries such as Japan. They are of importance in the fisheries or being raised in aquaculture. Some species of loach may occasionally be caught for bait.

Many of the more brightly-colored loach species are popular with freshwater aquarists and are therefore of importance in the aquarium trade. The more colorful tropical loaches that are kept as pets mainly come from South Asia and South-East Asia.

Loaches often encountered in aquarium trade

Cultural Note

Referenced by Shakespeare in Henry IV, part 1: "Why, they will allow us ne'er a jordan, and then we leak in your chimney; and your chamber-lie breeds fleas like a loach." (Act 2)

In the video game on the Nintendo 64, the largest fish you can catch is the "Hylian loach". Everytime you enter the fishing pond as an adult in Ocarina of Time, there is a 1 in 4 chance the loach will be present in the pond. The loach is also present in the fishing minigame in Nintendo Gamecube/Wii game .

External links

Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. Scientific classification also can be called scientific taxonomy, but should be distinguished from folk taxonomy, which lacks scientific basis.
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Chordata
Bateson, 1885

Typical Classes

See below

Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates.
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Actinopterygii
Klein, 1885

Subclasses

Chondrostei
Neopterygii
See text for orders.
The Actinopterygii (the plural form of Actinopterygius) comprise the class of the ray-finned fishes.
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Cypriniformes

Families
  • Balitoridae (Hillstream loaches)
  • Catostomidae (Suckers)
  • Cobitidae (Loaches)
  • Cyprinidae (Carps and minnows)
  • Gyrinocheilidae (Sucking loaches)
  • Psilorhynchidae


The Cypriniformes
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Pangio
Blyth, 1860

Species

About 25. See Text

Pangio is a genus of freshwater fish in the loach family (Cobitidae). In earlier taxonomic schemes it was known as Acanthophthalmus.
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Acantopsis

Species

Acantopsis choirorhynchos
Acantopsis octoactinotos
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Acantopsis is a genus of fishes.
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Misgurnus
Lacepède, 1803

Species

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus
Misgurnus buphoensis
Misgurnus fossilis
Misgurnus mizolepis
Misgurnus mohoity
Misgurnus nikolskyi

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Niwaella
Nalbant, 1963

Species

Niwaella delicata
Niwaella laterimaculata
Niwaella multifasciata

Niwaella is a small genus of loaches.
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Pangio
Blyth, 1860

Species

About 25. See Text

Pangio is a genus of freshwater fish in the loach family (Cobitidae). In earlier taxonomic schemes it was known as Acanthophthalmus.
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Protocobitis

Protocobitis is a genus of ray-finned fish in the Cobitidae family. It contains the following species:
  • Protocobitis typhlops

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Sabanejewia

Sabanejewia is a genus of ray-finned fish in the Cobitidae family. It contains the following species:
  • Goldside Loach (Sabanejewia aurata)
  • Italian Loach (Sabanejewia larvata)

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Botia

Species

About 20. See Text

Botia is a genus of freshwater fish in the loach family (Cobitidae). It was a large genus with about 20 species.
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C. macracanthus

Binomial name
Chromobotia macracanthus
(Bleeker, 1852)

The clown loach, Chromobotia macracanthus, or tiger botia
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Leptobotia

Leptobotia is a genus of ray-finned fish in the Cobitidae family. It contains the following species:
  • Ayumodoki (Leptobotia curta)

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Yasuhikotakia

Species

Y. caudipunctata
Y. eos
Y. lecontei
Y. longidorsalis
Y. modesta
Y. morleti
Y. nigrolineata
Y. sidthimunki
Y.
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benthic zone is the lowest level of a body of water, such as an ocean or a lake. It is inhabited by organisms that live in close relationship with (if not physically attached to) the ground, called benthos or benthic organisms.
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Scavengers are animals that consume already dead animals (carrion). Scavengers play an important role in the ecosystem by contributing to the decomposition of dead animal remains. Decomposers complete this process, by consuming the remains left by scavengers.
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crustaceans (Crustacea) are a large group of arthropods, comprising approximately 52,000 described species [1], and are usually treated as a subphylum [2].
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Insecta
Linnaeus, 1758

Orders
Subclass Apterygota
* Archaeognatha (bristletails)
* Thysanura (silverfish)
Subclass Pterygota
* Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic)

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Invertebrate is an English word that describes any animal without a spinal column. The group includes 97% of all animal species — all animals except those in the Chordate subphylum Vertebrata (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals).
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In biology, detritus is non-living particulate organic material (as opposed to dissolved organic material). It typically includes the bodies of dead organisms or fragments of organisms or faecal material.
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T. tubifex

Binomial name
Tubifex tubifex
(Müller, 1774)

Tubifex tubifex, also called the sludge worm,
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Earth's atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth and retained by the Earth's gravity. It contains roughly (by molar content/volume) 78% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.
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2, −1
(neutral oxide)
Electronegativity 3.44 (Pauling scale)
Ionization energies
(more) 1st: 1313.9 kJmol−1
2nd: 3388.3 kJmol−1
3rd: 5300.5 kJmol−1

Atomic radius 60 pm
Atomic radius (calc.
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Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. Physically and geologically, Europe is the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, west of Asia. Europe is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea,
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Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent. It covers 8.6% of the Earth's total surface area (or 29.4% of its land area) and, with almost 4 billion people, it contains more than 60% of the world's current human population.
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