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The Acanthophthalmus semicinctus is a small fresh water fish belonging to the Cobitidae family. Approximately a dozen species of Acanthophthalmus exist, though identification still presents experts with notable difficulties. The name Acanthophthalmus means "that brings a thorn upon its eye" and is accurate as this fish actually presents one hard and spiny thorn upon each of its eyes.
Acanthophthalmus semicinctus is well-known to aquarium lovers who call it "kuhli": this nickname derives from the scientific name of one particular breed, the Acanthophthalmus kuhlii, first described by Georges Cuvier and Achille Valenciennes in 1846. For a long time, the various species of Acantophthalmus imported from tropical Asia were believed to belong to this species and this is why they were given the common name of "kuhli". Later, experts discovered that those were very distinct species, even though very similar in the exterior aspect. A. semicinctus is now distinguished by the common name "Half-banded kuhli loach."
The Acanthophthalmus seminctus described in this article lives in brooks of Malesia. This little long and narrow fish lives over gravel depths and avoids sunlight. In an aquarium it is necessary to give it a shelter under a stone or within a coconut shell, in which he could hide.
The diet of this fish consists of little shellfish and insects. It also devours tubificidi and worms. Some species of Acanthophthalmus have reproduced in aquariums. The male builds a nest of bubbles of air wrapped in mucus, in which the female lays the eggs.
The Acanthophthalmus semicinctus is oviparous but the number of eggs it lays is unknown. The length of the adult ranges from 8–9 cm. It is useful in an aquarium as a depth cleaner. The optimal water temperature for it ranges from 24–28 °C.