Sucking loaches

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Sucking loaches
Siamese loach

Siamese loach

Sub-cohort : Ostariophysi
without rank: Otophysa
Order : Carp-like (Cypriniformes)
Subordination : Gyrinocheiloidei
Family : Gyrinocheilidae
Genre : Sucking loaches
Scientific name of the  family
Gill , 1905
Scientific name of the  genus
Vaillant , 1902

Suckling loaches ( Gyrinocheilus ) is a genus and family of fish from the order of the carp-like , whose distribution area is in Southeast Asia . The scientific name Gyrinocheilus consists of the Greek words gyrinos ("tumbler", tadpole ) and cheile ( lip ) and alludes to the mouth of the species in this family that has been transformed into a suction cup. Two of the three described species occur in oxygen-rich rivers in the Mekong river basin , Gyrinocheilus pustulosus lives in the river systems of the Kapuas , Mahakam and Kayan on Kalimantan .


Sucking loaches are 28 to 35 centimeters long. Their mouth is subordinate and transformed into a suction mouth with which the fish are able to suck up on solid surfaces. Barbels and fangs (unique among the cypriniformes) are absent. The number of gill pelvis rays is around 140. The number of scales in the lateral line row (SL) is 39 to 43. The dorsal fin is supported by ten or eleven fin rays. Since the mouth, sucked in on stones, is not available to take in respiratory water, this is taken in through a small, separated, vertical opening in the upper part of the gill cleft. The respiratory water is expelled again in the lower part of the cleft gill. The swim bladder has receded. Loaches are algae eaters.


The genus contains three species:


Sucking loaches are caught for consumption and are often seen in the markets in the Mekong area. In Europe and North America they are sold as aquarium fish.


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