Poropuntius speleops

(Roberts 1991) Kottelat and Brehier 1999

Poropuntius speleops
Drawing by Rhian Kendall from a photograph in Roberts (1991)


Barbus speleops  Roberts 1991




Holotype: CAS 67194, 122mm SL. Paratypes: CAS 76112 (2 specimens) 59.2-121mm SL, TISTR 2642-3 (2 specimens) 57.9-124mm SL.


Type locality: Tham Phu Khieo, Phu Khieo wildlife sanctuary, Nong Bua Daeng District, Chaiyaphum Province, Thailand (16o02’05”N, 101o32’10”E). Possibly seen in, but not collected from, Tham Pathewada in the same area.


The type locality is a stream sink which suffers major flooding during the rainy season. The large population size suggests that plenty of allochthonous food supplies reach the cave.


The genus Barbus is restricted to Europe, north west Africa and Asia as far as the Tigris-Euphrates basin so this species is certainly not a Barbus. Kottelat and Brehier (1999) consider that it should be placed in Poropuntius. Roberts (pers. comm. and in prep.) would also now place it in Poropuntius.

Conservation Status

[VU D2:3.1:2011]

(Vidthayanon, C. 2011. Poropuntius speleops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: Downloaded on 04 July 2017). The species is endemic to the Phatewada cave in Phu Khiew Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand. It is restricted to a single underground stream system. The population has been impacted by occasional collection for food and, to a lesser extent, for the aquarium trade, thought the population is considered stable at present. It is assessed as Vulnerable (D2) as it is present at a single location and impacted by harvest and potential pollution from agriculture, although the cave system is located with a Wildlife Sanctuary.

Museum Holdings

As above only.

Key References

Roberts, T.R. Journal Article 1991 Barbus speleops new species, a blind cavefish from Tham Phu Khieo, Mekong basin, Thailand
Kottelat, M. and Brehier, F. Journal Article 1999 Troglocyclocheilus khammouanensis, a new genus and species of cave fish from the Khammouan karst, Laos (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)
Deharveng, L. and Bedos, A. Book Section 2001 Thailande
Brancelj, A., Boonyanusith, C., Watiroyram, S. and Sanoamuang, L. Journal Article 2013 The groundwater-dwelling fauna of Southeast Asia
Ellis, M. Journal Article 2018 The recorded fauna of the limestone caves of Thailand to April 2018
Ellis, M. Journal Article 2020 The caves of eastern Thailand
Photograph by Paul Loiselle