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Schizothorax sp.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Subfamily: Barbinae
Genus: Schizothorax
Heckel, 1838
Type species
Schizothorax plagiostomus
Heckel, 1838

Racoma McClelland & Griffith, 1842

Schizothorax is a genus of cyprinid fish from Central and East Asia.[1] Their scientific name means "cloven-breast", from Ancient Greek schízeïn (σχίζειν) "to cleave" and thórax (θώραξ) "breast-plate" (see also thorax). The western species are typically referred to as marinkas from their Russian name marinka (маринка), while the eastern species are usually called snowtrout. But though they do resemble trouts in habitus this is merely due to convergent evolution and they are by no means closely related apart from both being Teleostei: Cyprinids are in the teleost superorder Ostariophysi, while trouts are in the superorder Protacanthopterygii. Their ancestors must thus have diverged as early as the Triassic, more than 200 million years ago.

Other "snowtrouts" – most if not all presumably closely related to Schizothorax – are found in the genera Diptychus, Ptychobarbus, Schizopyge and Schizopygopsis. The latter two were formerly often included in the present genus, and their delimitation is still not entirely clear. In any case, the genus Schizothorax (and other "snowtrouts") are in turn related to such cyprinids as the typical barbels (Barbus sensu stricto and the doubtfully distinct Luciobarbus and Messinobarbus), Carasobarbus, Labeobarbus, Aulopyge and Cyprinion. They were thus placed in the subfamily Barbinae, which is quite paraphyletic however and thus here merged with the Cyprininae at least for the largest part (including the marinkas), becoming its junior synonym in the process.[2]


There are currently 65 recognized species in this genus:


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2016). Species of Schizothorax in FishBase. January 2016 version.
  2. ^ De Graaf, M., Megens, H.-J., Samallo, J. & Sibbing, F.A. (2007). "Evolutionary origin of Lake Tana's (Ethiopia) small Barbus species: indications of rapid ecological divergence and speciation". Animal Biology,. 57 (1): 39–48. doi:10.1163/157075607780002069.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Arunkumar, L. & Alphonsa Moyon, W. (2016): Schizothorax chivae, a new schizothoracid fish from Chindwin basin, Manipur, India (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). International Journal of Fauna and Biological Studies, 3 (2): 65-70.
  4. ^ a b Yang, J., Zheng, L.-P., Chen, X.-Y. & Yang, J.-X. (2013): Description of two new species and revision of Schizothorax distributed in the Irrawaddy drainage area in China. Zoological Research, 34 (4): 361-367.
  5. ^ Javed, M.N., Azizullah & Pervaiz, K. (2012): Racoma ramzani, A New Snow Carp (Teleostei: Cyprinidae: Schizothoracinae) From Pakistan. Biologia (Pakistan), 58 (1-2): 175-178.