Subterranean fishes of the world
Eidinemacheilus proudlovei Freyhof, Abdullah, Ararat, Ibrahim and Geiger 2016.


This web site is effectively the second edition of my book on the subterranean fishes of the world (Proudlove 2006). It follows very much the same structure and content and its main aim is to provide an always-up-to-date checklist of the cave and groundwater fishes of the world and detailed species accounts for all species. A fully searchable bibliography of 4400+ entries is also provided. A secondary aim is to provide checklists for the interstitial fishes and for troglomorphic fishes from non-subterranean habitats, and species accounts when time allows these to be prepared. One or two other lists and/or notes may appear if I find them of interest and relevance. Each species account has a Metadata link which takes you to a page describing the methods used, the notation and various other essential guides to using the site effectively.

There are currently 265 species of cave and groundwater fishes, 41 species of interstitial fishes and 46 species with troglomorphic features from non-subterranean habitats (total 352 species).

As of May 2018 the searchable bibliography is jointly authored by Graham Proudlove and William R. Elliott.

Important note:  It will take me while to get all of the species accounts fully populated. If you are interested in a particular species let me know and I'll prioritise it.

Comments, corrections, additions etc. to me at g.proudlove[at]

V1.0 edited Thursday 21st January 2021

Recent additions

A special edition of Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B Molecular and Developmental Evolution devoted to Astyanax research

A new paper on Phreatobius cisternarum with work from a new group of researchers (Perez et al. 2020). See also Liu, Schneider and Taylor (2019)

A number of name changes in the Family Synbranchidae (both subterranean and non-subterranean lists) after information in Britz et al. 2020

Excellent presentation by Professor Daphne Soares on The Secret Lives of Cavefishes

The bibliography reaches 4500 entries for all troglomorphic fishes

A number of modern commentaries on cave research added to the Metadata section

Four species of interstitial Gouania (Gobiesocidae) added to interstitial list. Species accounts to follow.

A new Family, Aenigmachannidae, is errected for Aenigmachanna gollum and A. mahabali (Britz et al. 2020).

Species account for Austrolethops wardi added to the list of troglomorphic species from non-subterranean habitats. See discussion of this

Henicorhynchus thaitui newly described from Vietnam by Nguyen, Ho, Hoang, Wu and Zhang (2020), Also a revision of the genus Henicorhynchus (Ciccotto and Page 2020).

Very significant revision of the biogeography of Astyanax jordani by Espinasa et al. (2020)

Updated the Red List entries for cave Luciogobius species and added Red List assessments to the bibliography

Major new study of the phylogeny and evolution of the genus Sinocyclocheilus by Mao et al. (2020)

Another major review of the biology of Astyanax jordani by Jeffery (2020)

Lucifuga gibarensis newly described from Cuba by Hernandez et al. (2020)

A critically important paper by Horst Wilkens - this is a must read and understand paper for anyone interested in, or working on, subterranean fishes

Important new book on North American freshwater fishes with extensive chapters on Characidae (Mercado-Silva et al. 2020, 22 pages), Ictaluridae (Burr, Warren and Bennett 2020, 78 pages), Heptapteridae (Thomas and Sabaj 2020, 25 pages), Amblyopsidae (Adams, Burr and Warren 2020, 41 pages) and Poeciliidae (Ghedotti et al. 2020, 65 pages).

Kayahschistura lokalayensis Kottelat and Grego 2020 from Myanmar

Trichomycterus spectrum from Colombia

Bibarba wenliuensis described, first species for the new Decade

A paper on the world's largest subterranean fish published

There are several new books and papers that are relevant:

Cave ecology edited by Moldovan, Kováč and Halse (2018)

The biology of caves and other subterranean habitats (Second edition) by Culver and Pipan (2019)

Encyclopedia of caves (Third edition) edited by White, Culver and Pipan (2019) includes chapters on cave fishes (Niemiler et al. 2019) and cave fishes in China (Ma et al. 2019)

And an important book and paper on potential food supply for subterranean organisms:

Microbial life of cave systems edited by Engel (2015)

Microbial communities and activities in caves