Ichthyologists have described a new species of loach from the Yunnan region of China.
Lu, Lu and Mao described the new species as Paraprotomyzon niulanjiangensis in the latest issue of the journal Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica.
The new loach was collected from Niulanjiang in the Zhanyi County of Yunnan, China, and most of the specimens caught measured around 3.5cm on average.
Interestingly, the scientists have placed the fish in the family Homalopteridae, rather than the Balitoridae, which has previously been considered the correct placement for members of the Paraprotomyzon genus.
There are four other species in the genus: Paraprotomyzon bamaensis, Paraprotomyzon lungkowensis, Paraprotomyzon yunnanensis and Paraprotomyzon multifasciatus.
Lu, Lu and Mao say that niulanjiangensis is similar to yunnanensis and bamaensis, but has a smaller gill opening and lacks laminae on its lower lip.
For full details on the identification of the new loach see the paper: Lu, Y-F, Z-M Lu & WN Mao, 2005. A new species of Paraprotomzon [Paraprotomyzon] from Yunnan, China (Cypriniformes, Homalopteridae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 30: 202-204.