Zoological Studies

Vol. 45 No. 4, 2006

A New Blind Loach, Oreonectes translucens (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Nemacheilinae), from Guangxi, China

Zhen-Ling Zhang1,2, Ya-Hui Zhao1, and Chun-Guang Zhang1,*

1Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China
2Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Zhen-Ling Zhang, Ya-Hui Zhao, and Chun-Guang Zhang (2006) A new blind loach, Oreonectes translucens sp. nov., is described based on 3 specimens (25.7-45.8 mm in standard length) collected from a cave in Xia, ao Village, Du, an County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China. It is distinguished from all other known Oreonectes species by its well-developed crests and vestigial eyes. The new species shares with the similar O. furcocaudalis Zhu et Cao possession of dorsal and ventral crests, a forked caudal fin, and 8 (6) dorsal (anal)-fin rays, but can be distinguished from the latter by having vestigial eyes (normal in the latter), well-developed crests (dorsal crest depth of the former 78.0%-87.0% of caudal peduncle depth vs. 31.1%-38.1% in the latter), and fewer vertebrae (4 + 32 vs. 4 + 35). The new species shares with the similar O. anophthalmus Zheng possession of vestigial eyes, a semitransparent body when fresh, and a 4 + 32 vertebrae count, but differs from the latter by having crests, a forked caudal-fin (rounded in the latter), and the origin of the dorsal fin vertically opposite to those of the pelvic fins.

Key words: Taxonomy, Cavefish, New species, Oreonectes translucens.

*Correspondence: E-mail:fish@ioz.ac.cn