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Syncrossus berdmorei.jpg
Tiger loach Syncrossus berdmorei
Botia striata.jpg
Zebra loach (Botia striata) with the fusiform shape typical of Botiidae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Subclass: Neopterygii
Infraclass: Teleostei
Superorder: Ostariophysi
Order: Cypriniformes
Superfamily: Cobitoidea
Family: Botiidae
L. S. Berg, 1940

Botiidae is a family of cypriniform ray-finned fishes from South, Southeast, and East Asia. Until recently they were placed in the true loach family Cobitidae, until Maurice Kottelat revised the loaches and re-elevated this taxon to family rank in 2012.[1] The family includes about 56 species.

The Botiids are more robust than most of their relatives in Cobitidae and tend to have a more or less arched back, yielding an altogether more fusiform shape. Botiids typically have a pointed snout of intermediate length, while many cobitids are remarkably stub-nosed.

Botiids are generally fairly small, with maximum lengths between 6 and 30 cm (2.4 and 11.8 in) depending on the species involved, although Leptobotia elongata reaches 50 cm (20 in)[2] (Chromobotia macracanthus has been claimed to reach a similar size, but this would be exceptional).[3]

As aquarium fish[edit]

Many of the more brightly colored species are popular with freshwater aquarists, so are of importance in the aquarium trade. Botiidae often encountered in aquarium trade include:


  • Kottelat, M. (2004): Botia kubotai, a new species of loach (Teleostei: Cobitidae) from the Ataran River basin (Myanmar), with comments on botiine nomenclature and diagnosis of a new genus. Zootaxa 401: 1-18. PDF abstract and first page image
  • Tang, Qiong-ying; Yu, Dan & Liu, Huan-zhang (2008): 斑纹薄鳅 (Leptobotia zebra) 应该为斑纹沙鳅 (Sinibotia zebra) ["Leptobotia zebra Should Be Revised as Sinibotia zebra (Cypriniformes-Botiidae)"]. Zoological Research 29(1): 1-9 [Chinese with English abstract]. PDF fulltext
  1. ^ a b Kottelat, M. (2012): Conspectus cobitidum: an inventory of the loaches of the world (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitoidei). Archived February 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 26: 1-199.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Leptobotia elongata" in FishBase. June 2014 version.
  3. ^ Åhlander, Ola (2 September 2004). "Clown loach Chromobotia macracanthus (Bleeker 1852)". Retrieved 6 June 2014.