Troglonectes longibarbatus

(Chen, Yang, Sket and Aljancic 1998)

Troglonectes longibarbatus
Redrawn by Rhian Kendall from Chen, Yang, Sket and Aljancic 1998
CypriniformesCobitoidei Nemacheilidae


Paracobitis longibarbatus  Chen, Yang, Sket and Aljancic 1998

Paracobitis posterodarsalus  Li, Ran and Chen 2006

Homatula posterodarsalus  (Li, Ran and Chen 2006) Hu and Zhang 2010

Homatula maolanensis  (Li, Ran and Chen 2006) Hu and Zhang 2010

Nemacheilus liboensis  Chen 2000 nomen nudum

Oreonectes liboensis  Wang 1991 nomen nudum

The status of the seven synonyms to this species is not finalised. Certainly Nemacheilus liboensis and Oreonectes liboensis are nomina nuda. Paracobitis longibarbatus is the original generic placement of the species before it was moved to Triplophysa. The species posterodorsalus and maolanensis are treated as vaild by some authors (e.g. Yang, Wu and Lan 2011, Wu, He, Yang and Du 2018), and as synonyms of T. longibarbata by othes (e.g. Du et al. 2008, Romero et al. 2009, Kottelat 2012:128). More data are required to elucidate the final position.




Holotype: KIZ 953001 70mm TL, 68mm SL. Paratypes: KIZ 953002 35mmTL, 29mm SL; KIZ 953003 36mm TL, 30mm SL.


Known only from the type locality: An unnamed cave 13 km north east of the town of Libo, Libo County, southern Guizhou, China (25o30’N, 107o50’E). This is in the Xijiang river basin.


The cave is 500m above sea level. Not far from the entrance shaft the cave stream ends at a 90m long lake which eventually sumps. The flow rate is 10l/sec and the substrate sand and rocks. Up to 10 animals were visible on each of three visits made by the explorers. The fishes live in total darkness but are sensitive to light, moving away from any light pointed at them. This species possibly coexists with Triplophysa macrocephala at the latters type locailty.


Related to, and probably descended from, Paracobitis variegatus longidorsalis, which occurs in the same (Xijiang) river basin. The generic position of these species is called into question by the opinion of Banarescu and Nalbant (1995:443) that “The genus is exclusively western Asian.” They place Paracobitis variegatus in the genus Homatula Nichols 1925 (though they incorrectly date this genus as 1929). Eschmeyer (1998:1970) consider the genus Homatula as a synonym of Schistura.

Yang, Wu and Lan (2011:570) consider Paracobitis posterodarsalus Li, Ran and Chen 2006 and Paracobitis maolanensis Li, Ran and Chen 2006 as valid species of Triplophysa.

There are 19 described species in the genus Troglonectes (Eschmeyer 2022), all expect one are hypogean fishes with reduced eyes, reduced pigment and reduced scales. The only epigean member of the genus is Troglonectes hechiensis Zhao, Liu, Du and Luo 2021. The epigean species is a member of a monophyletic group which also contains T. furcocaudalis, T. daqikongensis, T. jiarongensis and T. shuilongensis (Zhao, Liu, Du and Luo 2021).

Conservation Status


Museum Holdings

As above only.

Key References

Chen, Y., Yang, J., Sket, B. and Aljancic, G. Journal Article 1998 A new blind cave loach of Paracobitis with comment on its characters evolution
Kottelat, M. Journal Article 2012 Draconectes narinosus, a new genus and species of cave fish from an island of Halong Bay, Vietnam (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae).
Wang, Y., Shen, Y., Feng, C., Zhao, K., Song, Z., Zhang, Y., Yang, L. and He, S. Journal Article 2016 Mitogenomic perspectives on the origin of Tibetan loaches and their adaptation to high altitude
Zhang, C.G. and Zhou, Y.H. Book 2016 Species diversity and distribution of inland fishes in China
Li, J.X. Wang, Y., Jina H.F.,Li, W.J., Yan, C.C., Yan, P.F., Zhang, X.Y., He, S.P. and Song, Z.B. Journal Article 2017 Identification of Triplophysa species from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and its adjacent regions through DNA barcodes
Zhang, Y., Wang, Z., Zhang, Z., Wu, M.. Chen, J. and Zhao, Y. Journal Article 2018 The complete mitochondrial genome of Triplophysa brevibarba with phylogenetic consideration
Wu, W.J., He, A.Y., Yang, J.X. and Du, L.N. Journal Article 2018 Description of a new species of Triplophysa (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae) from Guizhou Province, China
Yang, X., Liu, H., Ma, Z., Zou, Y., Zou, M., Mao, Y., Li, X., Wang, H., Chen, T.,Wang, W. and Yang, R. Journal Article 2019 Chromosome‐level genome assembly of Triplophysa tibetana, a fish adapted to the harsh high‐altitude environment of the Tibetan Plateau
Zhao, L.-X., Liu, J.-H., Du, L.N. and Luo, F.G. Journal Article 2021 A new loach species of Troglonectes (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae) from Guangxi, China
Zhang, J.H., Long, R., Jing, Y.Y., Zhang, P., Xu, Y., Xiong, W., Zhu, Y.Q. and Luo, Y.P. Journal Article 2023 Loss of behavioral stress response in blind cavefish reduces energy expenditure