Metadata

Cryptotora thamicola

(Kottelat 1988) Kottelat 1998

Cryptotora thamicola
Illustration by Rhian Kendall from a photograph in Kottelat (1988)
ORDERSUB-ORDERFAMILY
CypriniformesCobitoidei Balitoridae

Synonyms

Homaloptera thamicola  Kottelat, 1988

Country

Thailand

Types

Holotype: AMS I.25987‑001 28.4mm SL. At the time of its description this was the only known specimen and no other types were assigned.

Distribution

Type locality: Tham Susa, Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand (19o28'N, 98o08'E). Known also from Tham Mae La Na in the same province where it coexists with Schistura oedipus (Richard Borowsky pers. comm.).

Habitat

Within Tham Mae La Na this species is found in water cascading over flowstone while its co-inhabitant, Schistura oedipus, lives in gour pools and other lentic habitats. The two species seem to strictly partition the habitats (Trajano, Mugue, Krejca, Vidthayanon, Smart and Borowsky 2002).  The population size is of the order 102 – 103 which is very small (Trajano, Mugue, Krejca, Vidthayanon, Smart and Borowsky 2002).  

Systematics

Kottelat (1988a) discussed various aspects of the relationships of this species but commented that he was in the process of researching this and would present a fuller analysis at a later date. Kottelat (1998) provides the replacement generic name Cryptotora since there are a number of differences separating this fish from others in the genus Homaloptera. Data on pigmentation and behaviour collected by Trajano, Mugue, Krejca, Vidthayanon, Smart and Borowsky (2002) suggests that this species is a palaeo-stygobite.

Conservation Status

VU B2ab(iii) D2:3.1:2011. [VU B2ab(iii);D2:3.1:2011]

VU B2ab(iii) D2:3.1:2011. (Vidthayanon, C. 2011. Cryptotora thamicola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T41407A10459372.en. Downloaded on 06 July 2017). The species has been recorded from eight subterranean sites within a large karst system (Pang Mapha karst formation) in Mae Hongson Province, Thailand. The species has an Extent of Occurrence of nearly 200 km2, but and Area of Occupancy of 6 km2. The connectivity of this karst sytems is unknown, some caves are definitely connected. The species is found in eight locations based on the current threat to the species (habitat degradation by cave tourism). Therefore the species is assessed as Vulnerable. However the species has a potential threat of agricultural pollution which could impact the whole karst system, making it one location. If this was to impact the species it would qualify for Critically Endangered. It may also occur in other caves in the area. VU D2 (IUCN 1996, 2000).

Museum Holdings

As above only.

Key References

Kottelat, M. Journal Article 1988 Two species of cavefishes from northern Thailand in the genera Nemachilus and Homaloptera (Osteichthyes, Homalopteridae)
Kottelat, M. Journal Article 1998 Homaloptera yuwonoi, a new species of hillstream loach from Borneo, with a new generic name for H. thamicola (Teleostei: Balitoridae)
Borowsky, RL and Vidthayanon, C Journal Article 2001 Nucleotide diversity in populations of balitorid cave fishes from Thailand
Trajano, E, Mugue, N, Krejca, J, Vidthayanon, C, Smart, D and Borowsky, R. Journal Article 2002 Habitat, distribution, ecology and behaviour of cave balitorids from Thailand (Teleostei: Cypriniformes)
Prokofiev, AM Journal Article 2010 Morphological classification of loaches (Nemacheilinae)
Kottelat, M Journal Article 2012 Conspectus cobitidum: An inventory of the loaches of the world (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitoidei)
Flammang, B. E., Suvarnaraksha, A., Markiewicz, J. and Soares, D. Journal Article 2016 Tetrapod-like pelvic girdle in a walking cavefish

Internet Resourses

Cryptotora climbing a waterfall with its unique fins

The unique anatomy of Cryptotora thamicola

Video of Cryptotora in its natural habitat

Images of Cryptotora