Oreonectes anophthalmus

Zheng 1981

Oreonectes anophthalmus
Redrawn by Rhian Kendall from Zheng (1981)
CypriniformesCobitoidei Nemacheilidae






Holotype: DZRAS 77001 41.3mm "body length". Paratypes: HRS 77002‑4 26.5mm‑32.7mm "body length"; HRS 78001 ‑ 2 27.1mm and 32.2mm "body length"; GM (no ref. number) 26.0mm "body length".


Known only from the type locality: Taiji Cave, Qifeng Mountain, Wuming, Guangxi, China (23o12’N, 108o18’E). This species coexists with Sinocyclocheilus brevis and Bibarba parvoculus.


Information on the habitat and ecology of this species is provided by Zhao (1983) and Zhou (1985).


Luo et al. (2023) propose that this species (together with three others: the hypogean species Troglonectes acridorsalis, Oreonectes anophthalmus, Heminoemacheilus hyalinus and the epigean Heminoemacheilus parva be relocated in to the new genus Karstsinnectes. However, there is some uncertainty that this generic name was properly defined and further information is required.

Conservation Status

[VU D2:2.3:1996]

(Kottelat, M. 1996. Oreonectes anophthalmus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: Downloaded on 05 July 2017). R (IUCN 1990, 1993). Yue and Chen (1998:196-197) observe that this species is attractive to fish collectors and the population size has decreased. The local government is aware of this and taking steps to prevent further losses.

Museum Holdings

As above only.

Key References

Zheng, J.Z. Book Section 1981 Oreonectes anophthalmus
Zhao, Z. Journal Article 1983 New discovery of cave blind fish in Wuming, Guangxi
Zhou, J. Journal Article 1985 Fishes in karst caves of Guangxi
Chen, Y.R. and Yang, J.X. Journal Article 1993 A synopsis of cavefishes from China
Yue, P. and Chen, Y. Book 1998 China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals. Pisces
Kottelat, M. Journal Article 2012 Conspectus cobitidum: An inventory of the loaches of the world (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitoidei)
Fenolio, D.B., Zhao, Y., Niemiller, M.L. and Stout, J.F. Journal Article 2013 In-situ observations of seven enigmatic cave loaches and one cave barbel from Guangxi, China, with notes on conservation status
Waryani. B., Zhao, Y., Zhang, C., Abbasi, A.R., Ferrando, S., Dai, R., et al. Journal Article 2015 Surface architecture of the olfactory epithelium of two Chinese cave loaches (Cypriniformes: Nemacheilidae: Oreonectes).
Zhang, C.G. and Zhou, Y.H. Book 2016 Species diversity and distribution of inland fishes in China
Liu, Z., Wen, H., Hailer, F., Dong, F., Yang, Z., Liu, T., Han, L., Shi, F., Hu, Y. and Zhou, J. Journal Article 2019 Pseudogenization of Mc1r gene associated with transcriptional changes related to melanogenesis explains leucistic phenotypes in Oreonectes cavefish (Cypriniformes, Nemacheilidae)
Huang, J.Q., Yang, J., Wu, Z.Q. and Zhao, Y.H. Journal Article 2019 Oreonectes guilinensis (Teleostei, Cypriniformes, Nemacheilidae), a new loach species from Guangxi, China
Liu, Z., Qian, X., Wang, Z., Wen, H., Han, L. and Zhou, J. Journal Article 2021 First draft genome of loach (Orenectes shuilongensis; Cypriniformes: Nemacheilidae) provide insights into the evolution of cavefish
Luo, T., Yang, Q., Wu, L., Wang, Y.-L., Zhou, J.-J., Deng, H.Q., Xiao, N. and Zhou, J. Journal Article 2023 Phylogenetic relationships of Nemacheilidae cavefish (Heminoemacheilus, Oreonectes, Yunnanilus, Paranemachilus, and Troglonectes) revealed by analysis of mitochondrial genome and seven nuclear genes