his month (Feb.2007) we cover a family that
I have included for the first time on the monthly factsheet series.
namely Amblycipitidae, a family of loach shaped catfishes from
Southern Asia, China, Taiwan and Japan. We concentrate for the
first time on the species, Liobagrus marginatus.
As you can see on the above image the
strange bulbous head that this species and others from the genus
adorn and also the continuous adipose fin and caudal. Quite
a peculiar looking catfish to say the least :-)
The image below shows the well developed
barbel arangement of Liobagrus marginatus.
Dorsal fin short with a week concealed spine.
Anal fin short with about 9-18 rays. Pelvic fins have 6-7 rays.
Gill openings wide and the gill membranes are free from the isthmus.
Nostrils far apart; no cup-like depression below opercular flap. Adipose
fin long, low and keel-like, and continuous with rounded or truncate
caudal fin. 4 pairs of barbels.
There are three genera, Amblyceps,
Liobagrus and Xiurenbagrus but the first two are
the species we tend to see although they are still pretty rare
in the trade. The differences are Amblyceps:
Nostrils close together; cup-like depresion below opercular
flap present. Liobagrus: Nostrils
far apart; no cup-like depresion below opercular flap.
This family are closely related to the Bagridae family and are
reported to be able to live out of the water for a period of
The ichthyologist who discovered this species, Albert Günther,
was born in Esslingen in Swabia (Germany) in the year 1830 and
died at the age of 84 at the outbreak of the First World War
in 1914. He studied theology in Bonn and Berlin and later studied
medicine in Tübingen. He went to the British Museum in
1856, where he worked on ichthyology. Following the death of
John Edward Gray in 1875 he was made director of the zoology
department of the Natural History Museum in London, remaining
so until 1895. Apart from fishes, he also worked on the reptiles
and amphibians in the Museum collection.
Body brown/olive overlaid with lighter speckling.
Fins Golden brown. Barbels lightly coloured.
Would certainly need water movement in
the aquarium as they come from fast moving streams in their natural
habitat. Hiding places should also be introduced for their well
being and to make them feel more secure in their surroundings.
In their normal habitat they will greedingly
feed on aquatic insects and insect larvae. In the aquarium Daphnia,
frozen and live. Also frozen foods such as bloodworm and cyclops.
fleshy throat region of a fish which extends forward from
the ventral part of the chest and narrows anteriorly, and
externally separating the two gill chambers; that narrowed
portion of the breast which lies between the gill chambers
and separates them.
Opercular: Pertaining to the operculum; gill
cover. Often used for the opercle.
leio = smooth + Mozarabic bagre, Greek, pagros = a kind of
1989 An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary
survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune
City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p.
Sands, David., 1985 Catfishes of The World,
Volume 5 Bagridae & Others. Dee Bee Books, 116 Hesketh
Lane, Tarleton, Nr.Preston, Lancs.
Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia;
C. L. G. Günther
Online. 1 Feb. 2007
"Huang Ho." Online Map/Still. http://secure.britannica.com/eb/art-557
River (Yangtze River), Szechwan
Click this thumbnail map for locations.
|13cm. SL (5ins)
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