What kind of loach is this?


Fish Expert
Feb 25, 2009
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Hmmm, loaches online says that B. lohachata is a synonym for B. almorhae?

This is an error in taxonomy. I delved into these species in detail when I was working with the owner of SF to revise the profiles of the botine species. SF has extensive detail of the relevant studies respecting the taxonomy for each species, and I came up with this summation:

The exact species name of this fish is still uncertain. Originally it was deemed to be Botia lohachata, the name assigned by B.L. Chaudhuri in 1912, and it is still widely seen under this name. Botia is derived from an Asian word for soldier or warrior. In the early 1990's it was suggested that this species epithet was a synonym for Botia almorhae, the true species, which had been described in 1831 by J.E. Gray. Maurice Kottelat (2004), an acknowledged authority on this family, assigned the name B. lohachata as a synonym of B. almorhae and not a distinct species in his major revision of the genus which he separated into seven genera. More recently, Dr. Kottelat (2012) and several other ichthyologists have accepted B. lohachata as a distinct species.​
Steven Grant (2007) has proposed that B. almorhae may in fact consist of five distinct but closely-related species:​
Botia almorhae Gray, 1831​
Botia birdi Chaudhuri, 1909​
Botia lohachata Chaudhuri 1912​
Botia sp. "Kosi", possibly a variant of B. almorhae​
Botia sp. "Teesta", possibly a variant of B. almorhae​
The striking similarity in pattern among these fish certainly makes this feasible; the California Academy of Sciences--Ichthyology has accepted the validity of the first three distinct species. The authors of Loaches Online accept B. almorhae as the species of the subject fish.​

Now, some explanation for the benefit of other members reading this thread.

Loaches Online, like Planet Catfish and Corydoras World, is a highly reliable site for information on the fish, its care, requirements, etc. However, none of these are too concerned with taxonomy [I am, obviously!]. When a new species is described and named, or an existing species is for some reason re-examined in light of new phylogenetic data, the ichthyologist(s) carrying out the work publish the paper and his/her/their findings are open to critical peer review by other ichthyologists, which is how scientific knowledge advances. The summary above illustrates this. I mentioned the California Academy of Sciences, and this is in most all cases where the current accepted valid name of any species can be found.

The CAS maintains Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes, a listing of every described/named species of fish in the world. You can search by genus, species epithet or reference (the scientific papers). Each species and genus listing will provide data on the taxonomy from the initial description to the present, including every scientific paper that has referenced the species and either confirmed or rejected the name. Here is a link to the page for all Botia species, and if you check the entries for B. almorhae and B. lohachata you will see the changes I earlier mentioned listed, and at the end of the entry the accepted valid name. These two species are distinct.

CAS - Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes: Species (calacademy.org)


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