Stone Loaches, Nemacheilinae, are freshwater Cypriniform Fish (the group that includes other Loaches as well as Carp and Minnows) found across Eurasia and Africa. They favour fast moving upland streams, with many species having colonised cave systems (an essentially similar environment), where they often lose their eyes and pigmentation.
In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 28 November 2016, Huaiqing Deng and Huamei Wen of the School of Life Sciences at Guizhou Normal University, Ning Xiao of the Guiyang Nursing Vocational College, and Jiang Zhou, also of the School of Life Sciences at Guizhou Normal University describe a new species of blind Stone Loach from a cave system in Guizhou Province, China.
The species is placed in the genus Oreonectes, which includes sixteen species, all from underground karst limestone caves in East Asia, and given the specific name daqikongensis, meaning 'from Daqikong', the species having been been described from specimens washed out of a limestone cave at the Daqikong Scenic Area following heavy rain in January 2011. This cave contains a pool connected to a subterranean river which forms part of the Dagou River System, but which has not previously produced any Fish or other aquatic cave animals. The Fish were blind and colourless, and ranged from 31.28 to 70.96 mm in length.
Oreonectes daqikongensis, live specimen. Deng et al. (2016).
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