New blind loach described


A new species of loach which is blind and lives in underground caves has been described from China.

The new loach, which has been named Triplophysa rosa by Chen and Yang in a paper in the Journal of Fish Biology, was discovered in a subterranean cave system in Wulong County, Chongqing City, China.

The fish has tiny vestigial eyes and is essentially blind.

Like most other fish which live underground it lacks pigment in its skin and fins, giving the fish an overall pinky appearance.

The Triplophysa genus includes over 90 species of loach, including several other species that have evolved for life underground.

T. rosa can be told apart from other members of the genus by its dorsal fin, which has nine branched rays; its pectorals which have 12 branched rays; its 6 branched anal fin rays and 7 branched caudal fin rays.

For more details on identifying the new loach see the paper: Chen, X-Y & J-X Yang (2005) - Triplophysa rosa sp. nov.: a new blind loach from China. Journal of Fish Biology, 66: 599-608.