Chinese high-fin banded shark
|Chinese high-fin banded shark|
(T. N. Gill, 1878)
The Chinese high-fin banded shark (Myxocyprinus asiaticus) is a popular freshwater aquarium fish that belongs to the Catostomidae family. It grows to about 1.35 m (4 ft 5 in) long and is unsuitable for most home aquariums.
In addition to Chinese high-fin banded shark, it is also known under many other common names, including Chinese banded shark, Chinese sailfin sucker, high-fin (also spelled hi-fin) banded loach, high-fin loach, Chinese high-fin sucker, sailfin sucker, topsail sucker, Asian sucker, Chinese sucker, wimple carp, wimple, freshwater batfish, Hilsa herring, rough fish, Chinese or Asian zebra high-fin shark, Chinese or Asian zebra high-fin sucker, Chinese emperor, Siamese sucker, Chinese banded shark, and Entsuyui in Japanese. Despite its common names, it bears no relation to real sharks except that they are both fish.
It has declined drastically due to pollution, dams (preventing its natural breeding migration), overfishing, introduced species and collection for the aquarium trade. As a consequence it has been placed on the Chinese list of endangered species and is a state protected species.
Young Chinese high-fin banded sharks normally possess brown bodies bearing three dark-colored slanting bands. During the breeding season, adult males are distinguished from adult females by their red coloration. Adult females are of dark purple color with a broad and vertical reddish area along the body. Juveniles of the Chinese high-fin banded sharks are also characterized by high and triangular dorsal finnage that extends up to the rear of the anal fin. The adult appearance is far less distinctive, as they are elongated in shape without the very high dorsal fin. The thick and fleshy lips bear small papillae without barbels. They have a single row of pharyngeal teeth that have comb-like arrangements.
Through adulthood, Chinese high-fin banded sharks become darker in appearance. The characteristic pale bands found in young specimens disappear at a length of 30–36 cm (12–14 in), and the species has been referred to as an "ugly duckling in reverse". The growth is fast; it typically reaches a length of about 20 cm (8 in) in its first year and 50 cm (1 ft 8 in) by an age of three. Sexual maturity is reached when five to six years old and at least 60 cm (2 ft) long. The maximum size reached by this fish is 1.35 m (4 ft 5 in) in length and 40 kg (88 lb) in weight.
Distribution and habitat
Chinese high-fin banded sharks are native to the Yangtze River basin of China. They migrate into relatively fast flowing, shallow headwaters to spawn, but spend the remaining time in the main river sections. The population in the Min River, a tributary of the Yangtze, may have been extirpated.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Myxocyprinus asiaticus.|
- Myxocyprinus asiaticus (Bleeker, 1865), Taxonomic Serial No.: 639710, Taxonomy, ITIS.gov, retrieved on: August 21, 2007
- Photograph of the Chinese high-fin banded shark at Mongabay.com