Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cypriniformes ( carps, minnows, loaches and relatives)
Family: Balitoridae (hillstream river loaches)

Genus/species: Sewellia lineolata

Hillstream Loach  IMG_0740

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Sewellia spp. are perhaps the most dominant of the ‘sucker belly’ group of loaches. Sides of body with 3-5 bold longitudinal stripes. Pectoral fin with bold submarginal stripe, otherwise with reticulated marks. Pelvic fin with 3 bold stripes. Females plumper than males. Males have raised areas like small “fences” on first few rays of pectoral fins, and when viewed from above are noticeably “squarer” in the area of the front leading edge of the pectoral fins. Maximum size: 2.5 inches

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: China, Viet Nam, Cambodia. Known from the Mekong basin. Found in shallow, fast-flowing rivers, highly oxygenated headwaters and tributaries with substrates of composed of bedrock, sand and gravel.

Hillstream Loach  IMG_0739

DIET: Algae plus associated micro-organisms although insect larvae are probably taken on an opportunistic basis.


REMARKS: Paired fins are orientated horizontally, head and body flattened and the last two pelvic-fin rays combine with a fleshy flap on the base of the fin to form a ‘pelvic valve’ forming a powerful sucking cup which allowing the fish to cling tightly to solid surfaces in rapid moving streams.

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Ref: fish base, EOL, Seriously Fish.