Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus

Chen and Yang 1993

Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus
Redrawn by Rhian Kendall from Chen, Yang and Zhu (1994)






None of the specimens mentioned in Chen and Yang (1993a) are proposed as holotype so all are syntypes. Kottelat and Brehier (1999) clarify the taxonomic status of this species by erecting a lectotype.

Lectotype: KIZ 916001, 87mm SL. (Deposited in the Administrative Office of Alu Limestone Caves, Luxi County, Yunnan Province, China).


Known only from the type locality: Alu Limestone Caves, Luxi County, Yunnan Province, China (24o33’N, 103o45’E). This system consists of three caves (Luyuan Cave (700m long), Yuzhu Cave (800m) and Biyu Cave (800m)) and a single river or stream (Yusun River, 625 in length, 1700m altitude). According to the original authors this river has no obvious inlet or outlet.


Little information is available. The water is very clear with a current velocity of 0.2m/sec and a depth of 0.3-4.1m. Mean water temperature is 19oC.


A member of the subfamily Barbinae and thought to be most closely related to the sympatric Sinocyclocheilus angustiporus (based on the serrated last ray of the dorsal fin). It is suggested by Chen and Yang (1993a) that this latter species is troglophilic, preferring to live in waters very near to caves. Wang and Chen (1998) revised the diagnosis of the genus Sinocyclocheilus.

Conservation Status

[VU D2:2.3:1996]

(Kottelat, M. 1996. Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: Downloaded on 04 July 2017). Chen, Yang and Chen (2002) record that this species nearly became extinct when environmental deterioration occurred during the creation of a show cave. It may therefore require a higher threat category.

Key References

Yijing, Jie Journal Article 1541 [Report of a transparent fish in the Alu Limestone Cave, Yunnan, China. Possibly Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus]
Chen, Y.R. and Yang, J.X. Journal Article 1993 Species and origin of cave dwelling Sinocyclocheilus fishes
Chen, Y.R. and Yang, J.X. Journal Article 1993 A synopsis of cavefishes from China
Chen, Y.R., Yang, J.X. and Zhu, Z.G. Journal Article 1994 A new blind cave fish of the genus Sinocyclocheilus from Yunnan with comments on its characteristic adaptation
Wang, D. and Chen, Y.Y. Journal Article 1998 On the diagnosis of Sinocyclocheilus and the taxonomic position of its closely related genus Anchicyclocheilus (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae: Barbinae)
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)
Xiao, H, Zhang, R, Feng, J, Ou, Y., M, Li, W, Chen, S and Zan, R Journal Article 2002 Nuclear DNA content and ploidy of seventeen species of fishes in Sinocyclocheilus
Romero, A., Zhao, Y.H. and Chen, X.Y. Journal Article 2009 The hypogean fishes of China
Kunming Institute of Zoology and Chinese Academy of Sciences Web Page 2009 Scietists found juvenile fish of Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus in ancient Alu Cave of Yunan
Zhao, Y.H. and Zhang, C.G. Book 2009 Endemic fishes of Sinocyclocheilus (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) in China - Species diversity, cave adaptation, systematics and zoogeography
Zhao, Y.H., Gozlan, R.E. and Zhang, C.G. Journal Article 2011 Out of sight out of mind: current knowledge of Chinese cave fishes
He, Y., Chen, X.Y., Xiao, T.Q. and Yang, J.X. Journal Article 2013 Three-dimensional morphology of the Sinocyclocheilus hyalinus (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) horn based on synchrotron Xray microtomography
Zhang, C.G. and Zhou, Y.H. Book 2016 Species diversity and distribution of inland fishes in China
Yang,J., Chen,X., Bai,J., Fang,D., Qiu,Y., Jiang,W., Yuan,H., Bian,C., Lu,J., He,S., Pan,X., Zhang,Y., Wang,X., You,X., Wang,Y., Sun,Y., Mao,D., Liu,Y., Fan,G., Zhang,H., Chen,X., Zhang,X., Zheng,L., Wang,J., Cheng,L. Journal Article 2016 The Sinocyclocheilus cavefish genome provides insights into cave adaptation
Chen, H., Li, C., Liu, T., Chen, S. and Xiao, H. Journal Article 2019 A metagenomic study of intestinal microbial diversity in relation to feeding habits of surface and cave-dwelling Sinocyclocheilus species
Lunghi, E., Zhao, Y., Sun, X. and Zhao, Y. Journal Article 2019 Morphometrics of eight Chinese cavefish species
Mao, T.-R., Liu, Y.-W., Meegaskumbura, M., Yang, J., Ellepola, G., Senevirathne, G., Fu, C.-H., Gross, J.B. and Pie, M.R. Journal Article 2020 Evolution in Sinocyclocheilus cavefish is marked by rate shifts, reversals and origin of novel traits
Zhao, Y., Zhang, C. and Proudlove, G.S. Book 2021 Fishes of the Genus Sinocyclocheilus (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) in China. Systematics, biology, biogeography and cave adaptation