Category: Fishes | Resource

Burmese loach, Lepidocephalichthys berdmorei (Blyth, 1860)

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Superfamily: Cobitoidea
Family: Cobitidae (Loaches)
Subfamily: Cobitinae
Genus: Lepidocephalichthys
Species: L. berdmorei

Acanthopsis berdmorei Blyth, 1860
Cobitis berdmorei (Blyth, 1860)
Lepidocephalus berdmorei
(Blyth, 1860)
Lepidocephalus cataractus
Fowler, 1939

Common/local names
English: Burmese loach
Bangladesh: Puiya (পুইয়া)

Distributions: Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), India (Manipur) and Myanmar (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Conservation status: Data Deficient in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body elongate and compressed laterally, off which posterior part is more compressed. Mouth inferior and snout curved downwards. 3 pairs of barbels. A membranous flap also possesses two or four barbel like projections. Scales are minute. Dorsal originates behind pelvic base and much nearer to caudal.

Body color reddish-yellow; with about 12 black spots on flanks (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Speckled dorsal and caudal fins. Paired fins with dark centers.

Fin formula:
D. 9 (2/7); P1. 8; P2. 6; A. 7 (2/5) (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D ii-iii 6; A ii 5-6; P i 7-9; V i 6-7 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum length: 4.5 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Habitats: Inhibits hill streams of moderate current and pebbles; also found in clear and swift flowing streams and lakes with sandy and rocky bottom (Rahman, 2005).  Found in natural depressions of Sylhet district (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Fishery info: Of no interest to fisheries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).



Blyth E (1860) Report on some fishes received chiefly from the Sitang River and its tributary streams, Tenasserim Provinces. Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 29(2): 138-174.

Fowler HW (1939) Zoological results of the third De Schauensee Siamese Expedition. Part IX.– Additional fishes obtained in 1936. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 91: 39-76.

IUCN Bangladesh (2000) Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 159-160.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, p. 179.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 1, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, p. 523.


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Student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. Email: [email protected] More...

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