Neolissochilus subterraneus

Vidthayanon and Kottelat 2003







Holotype: NIFI 3148 217mm SL. Paratypes: NIFI 3149 (13 specimens, 37.1-103.9mm SL), NIFI 3076 126.7mm SL, NIFI 3143 9 (4 specimens, 40.1-120.0mm SL), CMK 16876 77.5mm SL.


Known only from the type locality: Tham Phra Wang Daeng cave, Thung Salaeng Luang National Park, Noen Maprang District, Phitsanulok Province, Thailand (16o40’41”N, 100o41’24”E). This species coexists with Schistura spiesi (Balitoridae).


Lives throughout the length of the cave, often found in large numbers in deep pools. Food probably consists of plant matter and detritus, together with bat guano.


Despite a thorough review Vidthayanon and Kottelat (2003) were unable to provide details of the of possible relationships of this species.

Conservation Status

TLO [VU D2:3.1:2011]

(Vidthayanon, C. 2011. Neolissochilus subterraneus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: Downloaded on 04 July 2017).

This fish is known only from subterranean streams in Tham Phra Wangdaeng cave, Pitsanulok Province in Thailand, within the Chao Phraya basin. It is assessed as Vulnerable (D2) as it is only known from a single location and it is potentially threatened by tourism developments at the site, as well as by upstream agricultural pollution. Further research into the species' current distribution and population trends is needed.

However, Smart (in Vidthayanon and Kottelat 2003) suggests that the population may be declining, and gives several reasons for this including drought and anthropogenic influences. Taking this into account it seems likely that CR B1ab(i, ii, iii, v) + 2ab(i, ii, iii, v) is a sensible current assessment. As in the description of the hypogean Cottus bairdi-cognatus complex, it is encouraging to see discussions of conservation status at the outset of the knowledge of a species.

Museum Holdings

As above only.

Key References

Deharveng, L. and Bedos, A. Book Section 2001 Thailande
Vidthayanon, C. and Kottelat, M. Journal Article 2003 Three new species of fishes from Tham Phra Wang Daeng and Tham Phra Sai Ngam caves in northern Thailand (Teleostei: Cyprinidae and Balitoridae)
Ellis, M. Journal Article 2010 The caves of Phitsanulok
Brancelj, A., Boonyanusith, C., Watiroyram, S. and Sanoamuang, L. Journal Article 2013 The groundwater-dwelling fauna of Southeast Asia
Kottelat, M. Book 2013 The Fishes of the Inland Waters of Southeast Asia: A catalogue and core bibliography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries
Vidthayanon, C. Book 2017 Checklist of freshwater fishes in Thailand
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 western and central Thailand
Singh, S., Mishra, A., Pavan-Kumar, A., Bidyasagar Singh, S., Radhakrishnan, K.V., Nagpure, N.S. and Chaudhari, A. Journal Article 2021 Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genome of Neolissochilus hexastichus (McClelland, 1839)