‘Nemacheilus’ argyrogaster, new species, is described from the Xe Kong, Mekong drainage, in Attapeu and Xe Kong provinces, southern Laos. It is distinguished from all other Nemacheilidae in Southeast Asia by its unique colour pattern made of a bold black midlateral stripe separating the yellowish brown dorsal part of the body from the silvery whitish ventral part and a middorsal row of 14–19 thin saddles. Besides, the male has a globulous suborbital flap with tubercles along its free, posterior edge, and the pectoral fin with thickened anterior ray and branched rays 1–4 and unculiferous pads behind them covered by small tubercles; lips thin, lower lip continuous with a narrow median notch. It was found in moderate to fast flowing water, over pebble to stone bottom. ‘Nemacheilus’ argyrogaster, was earlier misidentified as N. longistriatus; it is provisionally placed in the genus Nemacheilus.
19 February 2021
Pisces, Cobitoidei, Nemacheilus, Laos, Mekong basin, stone loach, sexual dimorphism