New blind cave loach

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Scientists have discovered another species of blind cave loach in China's cave systems.

Jing-Cheng Ran, Wei-Xian Li and Hui-Ming Chen discovered the new loach species in a cave in Nandan County, Guangxi, and named the new species Paracobitis posterodorsalus in a paper in the latest volume of the Journal of Guangxi Normal University.

The loach, which is one of dozens of blind cave loaches found in China, reaches a size of 5-6.5 cm.

The authors say that the species can be told apart from other members of the Paracobitis genus by the following combination of characters: "D. iii-6; A. ii-4; P. i-13; V. i-5; Branched caudal fin rays 15. Body depth in standard length 7.57, head length 4.42, length of caudal peduncle 5.30, depth of caudal peduncle 17.66.

"Head depth in its length 1.74, head wide 1.50. Depth of caudal peduncle 3.33 in its length. Diagnosis: the new species is similar to P. longibarbatus Chen et at (1998), but differs from the latter in: dorsal fin iii-6, Vs iii-8; Anal fin ii-4, Vs ii-6; origin of dorsal is posteriority of Ventral; Vs opposite."

The Paracobitis genus contains more than 15 species. It was erected by Bleeker in 1863.

For more information see the paper: Ran JC, Li WX and HM Chen (2006) - A New Species Blind Loach of Paracobitis from Guangxi, China (Cypriniformes: Cobitidae). Journal of Guangxi Normal University 24(3) : 81-82.