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Taxonomic revision of cold water fishes of Nepal. (by J. Shrestha)

Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuwan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal


Different authors have listed different total numbers of fish species for Nepal and there has been some confusion in the fish genera, species and synonyms. A total of 81 cold water species under 37 genera belonging to 2 orders, 7 families and 10 subfamilies is listed, with their updated nomenclature and systematic position according to the recent classification of Jayaram (1999). Genera Naziritor Mirza and Javed, Salmostoma Swainson, Securicula Gunther, Acanthocobatis van Hasselt and Lepidocephalus Bleeker are revised here. A number of species have been either synonymised or merged with others. Many species need further study.


The large diversity of fish species in Nepal is explained by the diversity of climatic zones, from subtropical to high mountains, and the fact that Nepal lies at the transition point of the Indo-Malayan and Palaearctic biogeographical realms. Therefore it is not surprising that a large number of fish species occur in Nepal. The ichthyofauna of Nepal has been studied by a number of scientists, viz. Atkinson (1974), Banarescu (1972), Boulenger (1907), Menon and Datta (1964), Hamilton (1822), Hora (1937, 1940, 1952), Gunther (1861), Regan (1907), Menon (1949, 1964, 1999), Day (1878, 1889), McClelland (1839), Shaw and Shebbare (1937), Hora (1952), Misra (1959), Jayaram (1981 -1999), Talwar and Jhingran (1991), De Witt (1960), Terashima (1984), Evans (1985) and Edds (1985 -1986).

The contribution made by Nepalese scientists are Jha (1986), Jha and Shrestha (1980), Rajbanshi (1982), Shah et al. (1992), Shrestha, J. (1981, 1978, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999), Shrestha, T.K. (1990), Subba (1995, 1996). All these scientists variably reported the total number of indigenous fishes of Nepal. There has been a great confusion regarding genera, species, synonyms, nomenclature and systematic position. Therefore taxonomic revision of these species has been urgently needed. Shrestha (2001) has reported for Nepal a total of 182 fish species belonging to 92 genera under 31 families and 11 orders, as compared to 186 species of 75 genera, 31 families and 11 orders reported earlier. Shrestha (1999) for the first time made a list of cold water fishes in Nepal, with 59 indigenous and two exotic fish species. Shrestha (1990) has reported 31 species including Rita rita (Hamilton-Buchanan) as the threatened species of Himalayan waters of Nepal.


The list of cold water fishes of Nepal is increasing with new reporting from inland waters, but at the same time there has been duplication and confusion of genus and species nomenclature as well as the use of outdated classification. The present paper is an attempt to update the taxonomy of cold water fishes of Nepal. The classification follows that of Jayaram (1999), however works of other authors such as Menon (1999) and Talwar and Jhingran (1991) have also been consulted. A total of 81 species under 37 genera belonging to 2 orders, 7 families and 10 subfamilies are listed in the present text.

Table 1

List of cold water fish with revised classification
(based on the classification of Jayaram, 1999)


- Gnathostomata


- Actinopterygii


- Neopterygii


- Teleostei


- Euteleostei

I. Order



- Cyprinidae


- Danioninae (Rasborinae)


- Oxygasterini


- Securicula Gunther 1868

1. Securila gora (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Salmostoma Swainson 1839

2. Salmostoma acinaces (Valenciennes) 1842

3. Salmostoma bacaila (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


Barilius (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)

4. Barilius barila (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

5. Barilius barna (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

6. Barilius bendelesis (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

7. Barilius bola (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

8. Barilius guttatus (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

9. Barilius radiolatus (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

10.Barilius shacra (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

11. Barilius tileo (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

12. Barilius vagra (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Danionini


- Chela Hamilton-Buchanan 1822

13. Chela laubuca (Hamilton-Buchanan)1822


Esomus Swainson 1839

14. Esomus danricus (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


Brachydanio Weber and Beaufort 1916

15. Brachydanio rerio (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


Danio Hamilton-Buchanan 1822

16. Danio aequipinnatus (McClelland) 1839

17. Danio dangila (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

18. Danio devario (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Cyprininae


- Cyprinini


- Tores


- Tor Gray 1833

19. Tor mosal (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

20. Tor putitora (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

21. Tor tor (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Naziritor Mirza and Javed 1985

22. Naziritor chelynoides (McClelland) 1839


- Neolissocheilus Rainboth 1985

23. Neolissocheilus hexagonolepis (McClelland) 1839


- Systomini


- Poropurtii


- Chagunius Smith 1945

24. Chagunius chagunio (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822




- Puntius Hamilton-Buchanan 1822

25. Puntius conchonius (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Semiplotini


- Semiplotus Bleeker 1859

26. Semiplotus semiplotus (McClelland) 1839


- Labeonini


- Labeones


- Labeo Cuvier 1817

27. Labeo angra (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

28. Labeo dero (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

29. Labeo dyocheilus (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

30. Labeo gonius (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Oreininae (Schizothoracinae)


- Schizothorax Heckel 1838

31. Schizothorax richardsonii (Gray) 1832

32. Schizothorax sinuatus (Heckel) 1838


- Schizothoraichthys Misra 1959

33. Schizothoraichthys esocinus (Heckel) 1838

34. Schizothoraichthys curvifrons (Heckel) 1838

35. Schizothoraichthys labiatus (McClelland) 1839

36. Schizothoraichthys macrophthalmus (Terashima) 1984

37. Schizothoraichthys nepalensis (Terashima) 1984

38. Schizothoraichthys niger (Heckel) 1838

39. Schizothoraichthys progastus (McClelland) 1839

40. Schizothoraichthys raraensis (Terashima) 1984


- Diptychus Steindachner 1866

41. Diptychus maculatus Steindachner 1866


- Garrinae


- Garra Hamilton-Buchanan 1822

42. Garra annandalei Hora 1921

43. Garra gotyla (Gray) 1832

44. Garra lamta (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

45. Garra lissorhynchus (McClelland) 1843

46. Garra nasuta (McClelland) 1839

47. Garra rupicola rupicola (McClelland) 1839


- Crossocheilus van Hasseltt (1823)

48. Crossocheilus latius (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Psilorhynchidae


- Psilorhynchus McClelland 1839

49. Psilorhynchus balitora (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

50. Psilorhynchus sucatio (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Psilorhynchoides Yazdani, Singh and Rao 1989

51. Psilorhynchoides homaloptera (Hora and Mukerji) 1935

52. Psilorhynchoides pseudecheneis (Menon and Datta) 1961


- Balitoridae




- Balitora Gray 1832

53. Balitora brucei Gray 1832


- Nemacheilinae


- Acanthocobatis Peters 1861

54. Acanthocobatis botia (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Nemacheilus Bleeker 1863

55. Nemacheilus corica (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Schistura McClelland 1839

56. Schistura beavani (Gunther) 1868

57. Schistura rupecola (McClelland) 1839

58. Schistura scaturiginia (McClelland) 1839


- Cobitidae


- Botinae


- Botia Gray 1831

59. Botia almorhae Gray 1831

60. Botia lohachata Chaudhari 1912


- Cobitinae


- Acantophthalmus van Hasselt 1823

61. Acantophthalmus pangia (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Lepidocephalus Bleeker 1859

62. Lepidocephalus guntea (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

II Order

- Siluriformes


- Schilbeidae


- Schilbeinae


- Pseudeutropius Bleeker 1862

63. Pseudeutropius atherinoides Bloch 1794

64. Pseudeutropius murius batarensis Shrestha 1981


- Clupisoma Swainson 1839

65. Clupisoma garua (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Amblycipitidae


- Amblyceps Blyth 1858

66. Amblyceps mangois (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822


- Sisoridae


- Bagarius Bleeker 1853

67. Bagarius yarelli Sykes 1841


- Glyptosternon McClelland 1842

68. Glyptosternon reticulatum McClelland 1842

69. Glyptosternon maculatum (Regan) 1905


- Glyptothorax Blyth 1861

70. Glyptothorax annandalei Hora 1923

71. Glyptothorax cavia (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

72. Glyptothorax conirostre (Steindachner) 1867

73. Glyptothorax gracile (Gunther) 1864

74. Glyptothorax indicus Talwar nom.nov. 1991

75. Glyptothorax kashmirensis Hora 1932

76. Glyptothorax pectinopterus (McClelland) 1842

77. Glyptothorax telchitta (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

78. Glyptothorax trilineatus Blyth 1860


- Euchiloglanis Regan 1907

79. Euchiloglanis hodgartii (Hora) 1923


- Myersglanis Hora and Silas 1952

80. Myersglanis blythi (Day) 1952


- Pseudecheneis Blyth 1860

81. Pseudecheneis sulcatus (McClelland) 1842


According to Jayaram (1999) there is yet no comprehensive work embodying all the freshwater species of the Indian region (India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). His work is based on Talwar and Jhingran (1991), Roberts (1989), Kottelat (1990), Rainboth (1991), Nelson (1994), Howes (1991) edited by Winfield and Nelson. The cold water fishes of Nepal fall under two orders: Cypriniformes and Siluriformes. Berg (1947) classified the order Cypriniformes into two divisions on the basis of scales present and absent; viz., Cyprini: body with scales and Siluri: body without scales. The division Siluri of order Cypriniformes of Berg (1947) has been changed into the separate order Siluriformes. According to Jayaram (1999) these two orders come under subdivision Euteleostei of division Teleostei, subclass Neopterygii and class Actinopterygii. The family Cyprinidae is further divided into subfamilies, tribes and subtribes. Among families Cyprinidae, Psilorhynchidae, Ballitoridae and Cobitidae are prominent under order Cypriniformes. Similarly under order Siluriformes families Schilbeidae, Amblycipitidae, Sisoridae are important. Psilorhynchinae is described as a subfamily of family Cyprinidae by Berg (1947). Many subfamilies like Danioninae, Garrinae, Balitorinae under order Cypriniformes and subfamilies like Schilbeinae under Siluriformes order are new creation. Similarly, tribes Oxygasterini, Danionini, Cyprinini, Systomini, Semiplotini, Labeonini with their respective subtribes viz. Tores of tribe Cyprinini, Poropuntii and Systomi of tribe Systomini, and Labeones of tribe Labeonini are formed for convenience.

The following are updated taxa of those cold water species of Nepal, which have caused a great deal of confusion.

3.1 Species which need further study

A number of species which are reported as cold water species by different scientists need further study to be declared as cold water fish species.

Labeo boga (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822
Schismatorhynchos (Nukta) nukta Sykes 1841
Chela cachius (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822
Gagata cenia (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822
Laguvia ribeiroi (Hora) 1921
Nangra nangra (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822
Coraglanis kishinoyei Datta 1962
Rita rita (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822
Anguilla bengalensis (Gray) 1831
Clupisoma montana Hora 1937
Bagarius bagarius (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

Bagarius bagarius (Hamilton-Buchanan) ''The Nepali gounch'', the only species reported earlier as the largest fish of Nepal from the Karnali River, needs further confirmation for its existence in Nepalese water. It inhabits rapids and rocky pools and being sluggish in habit, is not a good game fish according to Talwar and Jhingran (1991) and Jayaram (1999). It attains more than 2 m, a maximum weight of 250kg, lives at the bottom bottom but withstands strong current. It spoons easily and is a voracious feeder. The species Bagarius bagarius (Hamilton-Buchanan) has been renamed as Bagarius yarelli Sykes (Shrestha, 2001).

3.2 Synonymised species

A number of species have been synonymised as follows:

Naziritor chelynoides (McClelland) 1839

Puntius chilinoides (karang of Nepal) is synonymised as Naziritor chelynoides. The following are the synonyms adopted by different authors:

Naziritor chelynoides (McClelland) 1839, Naziritor Mirza and Javed, 1985, Pakistan, J. Zool. 17(3): 226 (type species Tor zhobensis Mirza)

Puntius chilinoides Jayaram 1981, The Freshwater Fishes of India: 99

Barbus chelynoides (McClelland) 1839, Asiat. Res. 19, 2271, 340, p. 57, Fig. 5 (type locality Simla)

Barbus chilinoides Day 1878, Fishes of India: 563, fig. 5; Day, 1889, Fauna Br. Fishes 1:304

Tor zhobensis Mirza 1967, Pakistan, J. Sci. Res, 19(1): 54 (type locality: Zhob river basin, Pakistan).

Tor (Naziritor) zobensis Mirza and Javed 1985, Pakistan J. Zool. 17 (3): 226

Tor chelynoides Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, vol. I: 302-303

Naziritor chelynoides Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of Indian Region: 97

Neolissocheilus hexagonolepis (McClelland) 1839

The Nepalese katle was included in the genus Barbus by McClelland (1839). Later Weber and de Beaufort (1916) placed this fish in the genus Lissochilus and Oshima (1919) created a new genus Acrossocheilus. Recently Rainboth (1985) proposed and described the genus Neolissocheilus (Swar, 1996). The synonyms adopted by different authors at different times are given below:

Barbus hexagonolepis McClelland 1839, Asiat. Res., 19(2): 270, 340, pl. 41, fig. 3

Barbus hexagonolepis Day 1878, Fishes of India: 564, pl. 137, fig. 4

Barbus hexagonolepis Day 1889, Fauna of India Fishes, 1: 305

Barbus dukai Day 1878, Fishes of India: 564, pl. 143, fig. 3

Barbus (Lissocheilus) hexagonolepis Hora 1940, J. Bombay Nat. Hist Soc., 42 (1): 78, figs 1-4

Acrossocheilus hexagonolepis Tilak and Sharma 1982, Game Fishes of India and Angling: 56, fig. 13

Acrossocheilus hexagonolepis Shrestha 1981, Fishes of Nepal: 19-20

Neolissochilius hexagonolepis Rainboth 1985, Beaufortia, Vol. 35, No3

Neolissochilius hexagonolepis Talwar & Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol.1

Neolissochilius hexagonolepis Swar 1996, Taxonomic review, J. Nat. Hist. Mus., Vol.15: 37-48

Neolissochilius hexagonolepis Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of Indian Region

Barilius guttatus (Day) 1869

The delicious jalkapoor (water camphor) of the Koshi River reported earlier as Barilius jalkapoorei, Shrestha (1981) is synonymised as Barilius guttatus (Day) 1869. The synonyms are as follows:

Opsarius guttatus Day 1869, Proc. zool. Soc.: 620

Barilius guttatus (Day) 1878, Fishes of India: 593, pl. 149, fig.3

Barilius guttatus (Day) 1889, Fauna Br. India, Fishes, 1: 351

Barilius guttatus Menon 1952, Rec. Ind. Mus. 50(2): 268

Barilius jalkapoorei Shrestha 1981, Fishes of Nepal, p. 34, Fig. 13

Barilius jalkapoorei Shrestha 1982, Wild is Beautiful: 102

Raimas guttatus Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol. 1: 386

Barilius guttatus Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 70

Labeo dero (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

Labeo dero (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822 and Labeo sindensis (Day) were reported as two separate species from Nepal earlier (Shrestha, 1995). Labeo sindensis (Day) is also reported by Jayaram (1981) from Nepal but the locality is not mentioned. The species is also listed by Rajbanshi (1982) from the Koshi River. According to Jayaram and Dhas (1999) Labeo sindensis Day is synonymised with Labeo dero (Hamilton-Buchanan). The synonyms are as follows:

Cyprinus dero Hamilton-Buchanan 1822, Fishes of Ganges: 277, 385, pl. 22, fig. 78

Labeo cephalus Valenciennes 1842, Hist. nat. Poiss. 16: 347, pl. 487

Labeo diplostomus Day 1877, Fishes of India: 546

Labeo diplostomus Hora 1942, Rec. Indian Mus. 44 (1): 6

Labeo diplostomus Hora and Mukerjii 1936, Rec. Indian Mus. 38(2): 142

Labeo almorhae Chaudhuri 1912, Rec. Ind. Mus. 7: 438, pl. 38, fig. 2.

Labeo rilli Chaudhuri 1912, Rec. Ind. Mus. 7: 439, pl. 38, fig. 4

Labeo dyocheilus Mukerjii 1934, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 27(1): 35

Labeo dero Hora and Mukerjii 1936, Rec. Indian Mus. 38(2): 142, fig. 3

Labeo dero Shaw and Shebbeare 1937, J Roy Asiat. Soc. Bengal Sci. III: 53, fig. 49

Labeo dero Shrestha 1981, Fishes of Nepal: 71 -72, fig. 3

Labeo dero Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol. I: 204 -205

Labeo dero Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of Indian Region: 133

Brachydanio rerio (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

The smallest fish of Nepal (zebra fish) of maximum size 26 mm was reported earlier as Danio rerio by Shrestha (1981). Brachydanio was proposed as a subgenus of Danio by Weber and Beaufort in 1916 and this was used for many years until Kottelat (1985, 1989) raised it into a separate genus on the basis of changes like dorsal fin with 6-7 branched rays and lateral line incomplete or absent. However, Talwar and Jhingran (1991) have described 28-30 scales on lateral line without any comments about incompleteness and absence of scale. The synonyms are as follows:

Cyprinus rerio Hamilton-Buchanan 1822, Fishes of Ganges: 323 390

Danio rerio Day 1878, Fishes of India: 597, pl. 151, fig. 4

Danio rerio Day 1889, Fauna Br. India, Fishes I: 358

Danio (Brachydanio) rerio Shaw and Shebbeare 1937. J Roy Asiat. Soc. Bengal Sci., III, p 29

Brachydanio rerio Hora, Rec. Indian Mus., Vol. XL: 173

Danio rerio Shrestha 1981, Fishes of Nepal: 57-58, fig. 25

Brachydanio rerio Talwar & Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol. I: 360

Brachydanio rerio Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of Indian Region: 79, fig. 48.

Salmostoma acinaces (Valenciennes) 1842

Salmostoma is the generic name given by Swainson (1839) for type species Cyprinus bacaila Hamilton-Buchanan. Chela (Oxygaster) argentea (Nepali local name deduwa or chalwa) has been reported from the Koshi River and the Tribeni - Arun River and is insufficiently known. The generic name of this species falls under the genus Salmostoma Swainson and the species is synonymised as Salmostoma acinaces (Valenciennes). The synonyms are as follows:

Leuciscus acinaces Valenciennes 1842, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 17: 509

Chela argentea Day 1867, Proc. zool. Soc. Lond.: 301

Chela argentea Day 1878 Fishes of India: 601, pl.153

Chela argentea Day 1889 Fauna Br. India, Fishes 1: 364

Oxygaster argentea Shrestha 1990, Resource Ecology of the Himalayan Waters: 160

Salmostoma acinaces Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol. I: 321

Salmostoma acinaces Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 65, fig. 42

Salmostoma bacaila (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

Chela (Oxygaster) bacaila local name chelwa is synonymised as follows:

Cyprinus bacaila Hamilton-Buchanan 1822, Fishes of Ganges: 265, 384, pl.8, fig. 76

Chela bacaila Day 1878, Fishes of India, 603 pl.152, fig. 5

Chela bacaila Day 1889, Fauna Br. India, Fishes J. 367

Chela bacaila Shaw and Shebbeare, J. Roy. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Sci III: 19, fig II

Oxygaster bacaila Chauhan and Ram Krishna 1953, Rec. Indian Mus. L. I. p. 399

Oxygaster bacaila Misra 1959, Rec. Indian Mus., Vol. 57: 140

Oxygaster bacaila Shrestha 1981, Fishes of Nepal: 81-82, fig. 39

Salmostoma bacaila Banarescu 1968, Rev. Biol. (Zool.) 13(1): 4, fig.1

Salmostoma bacaila Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol. I: 321-322, fig. 115

Salmostoma bacaila Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 65, fig. 43

Securicula gora (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

The genus Securicula Gunther was created by Gunther in 1968, Cat. Fishes, Fishes Br. Mus. 7: 332 type species Cyprinus gora (Hamilton-Buchanan). The Oxygaster gora (local name darai) is reported from Narayani and is insufficiently known. The fish is synonymised as Securicula gora and the synonyms are as follows:

Cyprinus gora Hamilton -Buchanan 1822, Fishes of Ganges: 263 384

Leuciscus cuttelus Valenciennes 1844, Hist. Nat.: 17-341

Leuciscus cuttelus Banarescu 1967, Revue roum. Biol. (Zool.), 12 (5): 308

Chela gora Day 1878, Fishes of India: 600, pl. 151, fig 8

Chela gora Day 1889, Fauna Br. India, Fishes 1: 362

Oxygaster gora Rahman 1974, Bangladesh J. zool. 2(2): 192

Securicula gora Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol. I: 329

Securicula gora Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of Indian Region: 64, fig. 41

Schizothorax richardsonii (Gray) 1832

All snow trouts and snow minnows are included under subfamily Schizothoracinae of family Cyprinidae under which Diptychus Steindachner, Schizothoraichthys Misra and Schizothorax Heckel are listed from Nepal. Diptychus maculatus Steindachner has been reported from Nepal (Jhingran and Talwar, 1991; Jayaram, 1999). However, their location and distribution in inland water bodies of Nepal are not mentioned. Seven species of Schizothorax Heckel and six species of Schizothoraichthys Misra were reported by Shrestha (1995). According to Jayaram (1999) the two species of Schizothorax Heckel, viz., S. molesworthi Chaudhuri and S plagiostomus Heckel, are the synonyms of Schizothorax richardsonii (Gray). Schizothoraichthys annandalei Regan is also included under Schizothorax richardsonii (Gray), (Jayaram, 1999). According to Jayaram (1999) all the three species of Schizothorax reported from Lake Rara, Nepal, by Terashima (1984) are transferred to genus Schizothoraichthys Misra. This system seems to be adopted also by Jhingran and Talwar (1991). However, Menon (1999) has proposed the genus Racoma McClelland (1839) for the species Schizothorax macrophthalmus Terashima and Schizothorax raraensis Terashima and both these species are merged with Racoma progastus McClelland (1839).

The present text is adopted after Jayaram (1999); there are two species of Schizothorax (Heckel) and eight species of Schizothoraichthys Misra known to exist in cold waters of Nepal. With these changes the total number of snow trouts in Nepal including Diptychus maculatus Steindachner is eleven (Table 1). The synonyms of Schizothorax richardsonii are as follows:

Cyprinon richardsonii Gray 1832, Illustrations of Indian Zoology, (10), pl. 14, fig. 2

Oreinus plagiostomus (Heckel) Day 1877, Fishes of India: 530

Oreinus plagiostomus (Heckel) Day 1889, Fauna Br. India, Fishes 1:250

Oreinus richardsonii Day 1877, Fishes of India: 530, pl. 125, fig.4

Oreinus richardsonii Day 1889, Fauna Br. India, Fishes 1: 250

Diptychus annandalei Regan 1907, Rec. Indian. Mus. 1: 158 (type locality Nepal)

Diptychus annandalei Mukerjii 1931, Rec. Indian Mus. 33: 63 (status discussed)

Oreinus molesworthi Chaudhuri 1931, Rec. Indian Mus. 8: 247, pl. 7, type figs 2, 2a, 2b.

Schizothorax richardsonii Tilak 1987, Fauna of India, Pisces: 50, figs 12-24

Schizothorax richardsonii Shrestha 1981, Fishes of Nepal: 113-114, fig. 56

Schizothorax richardsonii Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, VoI. I: 411-412, fig. 145

Schizothorax richardsonii Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 142, fig. 77

Garra lissorhynchus (McClelland) 1843

Six species of Garra have been reported from cold waters of Nepal (Table 1). The earlier reported species Garra modestus (Day) has been synonymised as Garra lissorhynchus (McClelland) 1843. The synonyms are as follows:

Platycara lissorhynchus McClelland 1843, Calcutta, J. Nat. Hist. 2: 587, pl. 68

Discognathus modestus Day, 1877 Fishes of India: 528, pl. 122, fig.5

Discognathus modestus Day 1989, Fauna of Br. India, Fishes, 1: 247

Discognathus modestus Hora 1921, Rec. Indian Mus. 22 (5): 663

Garra lissorhynchus Hora 1921, Rec. Indian Mus. 22 (5): 662, pl. 26, figs 2, 2a

Garra lissorhynchus Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol. I: 427-428, fig. 150

Garra lissorhynchus Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 154

Psilorhynchoides ho maloptera (Hora and Mukerjii) 1935 and Psilorhynchoides pseudecheneis (Menon and Datta) 1961

The genus Psilorhynchoides Yazdani, Singh and Rao is created for species Psilorhynchus homaloptera Hora and Mukerjii. Similarly Psilorhynchoides pseudecheneis (Menon and Datta) is also synonymised as Psilorhynchoides pseudecheneis (Menon and Datta).

Acanthocobatis botia (Hamilton-Buchanan) 1822

Acanthocobatis Peters, 1861 is a genus created for the species Acanthocobitis longipinnis Peters, Cobitis pavonaceus McClelland by monotype. Menon (1987) has proposed it as a subgenus in Fauna India 4(1), p. 140. According to Jayaram the body of this species is deeper than in most other nemacheilines, strongly compressed posteriorily. Snout blunt, upper lip covered by two or three rows of papillae, lower lip broad on both sides interrupted in the middle and with numerous papillae. Many changes have been made for genus Nemacheilus Bleeker under subfamily Nemacheilinae. Eight species of Nemacheilus Bleeker were reported earlier (Shrestha, 1995). Nemacheilus botia Day is a synonym for Acanthocobatis botia (Hamilton-Buchanan).

Cobitis botius Hamilton-Buchanan 1822, Fishes of Ganges: 350-394

Botia nebulosa Blyth 1861, J. Asiat. Soc. Beng. 29: 165

Nemacheilus botia Day 1877, Fishes of India: 614, pl.156, fig. 5

Nemacheilus botia Day 1989, Fauna of Br. India, Fishes 1: 227

Nemacheilus mackenzies Chaudhuri 1910, Rec. Indian Mus. 5(3): 183

Nemacheilus botia Menon 1987, Fauna of India, Pisces 4: 141, pl. 5, fig. 5

Acanthocobatis botia Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 173-174, fig. 92

Schistura beavani (Gunther) 1868

Genus Schistura McClelland (1838/1839) is a genus created for Cobitis (Schistura) rupicola McClelland. Menon (1987) also described it as a subgenus in Fauna India 4(1): 37. In his revision of the Nemacheilines Menon grouped 45 species falling under Schistura into four groups and 11 complexes.

Nemachilus beavani Gunther 1868, Cat. Fishes Br. Mus. 7: 350

Nemachilus beavani Hora 1935, Rec. Indian Mus. 37 (1): 63, pl. 3, fig. 2

Nemachilus beavani Menon 1987, Fauna of India, Pisces, 4: 84, pl. 13, fig. 4 & 5

Nemachilus beavani Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol.1: 472

Schistura beavani Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 181

Schistura rupecula rupecula (McClelland) 1838

Nemachilus rupecula has been synonymised as Schistura rupecola rupecola (McClelland) 1838 and the synonyms are as follows:

Schistura rupicola McClelland 1838, J. Asiat. Soc. Beng. 7: 948, pl. 55, fig.3

Nemachilus rupicola Day 1878, Fishes of India: 616, pl.153, fig-9

Nemachilus rupicola Day 1989, Fauna of Br. India, Fishes 1: 229

Nemachilus rupicola Menon 1987, Fauna of India, Pisces 4: 49, pl. 13, fig.6

Nemachilus rupicola Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol.1: 500

Schistura rupicola rupicola Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 183

Schistura scaturigina (McClelland) 1839

Nemacheilus scaturigina is synonymised as Schistura scaturigina (McClelland), 1839.

Cobitis (Schistura) scaturigina McClelland 1839, Asiat. Res. 19: 308, 443, pl. 53, fig.6

Nemacheilus zonatus Day 1878, Fishes of India: 618, pl.156, fig. 2

Nemacheilus zonatus Day 1989, Fauna of Br. India, Fishes 1: 233

Nemacheilus shebbearei Hora 1935, Rec. Indian Mus. 37 (1): 52

Nemacheilus subfusca (McClelland) Hora and Mukerjii 1935, Rec. Indian Mus. 37 (1): 40, fig.1

Nemacheilus scaturigina Menon 1987, Fauna of India, Pisces 4: 86, pl. 3, figs 2& 3 & pl. 13, figs 8&9

Nemacheilus scaturigina Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes, Vol.1: 501 -502, fig. 164

Schistura scaturigina Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 183

Botia almorhae Gray 1831

According to Menon (1992) Botia dayi Hora 1932 is a synonym of Botia almorhae Gray 1831. Menon (1999) further stated that Botia dayi is merged with Botia almorhae Gray. The synonyms are as follows:

Botia almorhae Gray 1831, Zool. Misc., 8

Botia almorhae Day 1878, Fishes of India: 602, pl. 154, fig. 5

Botia almorhae Day 1889, Fauna of Br. India, Fishes 1: 217

Botia dayi Hora 1932, Rec. Indian Mus. XXXIV: 571

Botia dayi Shaw and Shebbeare 1937, The Fishes of Northern Bengal, Vol. III: 66-67

Botia almorhae Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Inland Fishes vol.1: 535

Botia almorhae Jayaram 1999, The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region: 210


More detailed studies on many fish species inhabiting inland water bodies of Nepal are clearly needed, especially regarding their occurrence, especially their altitudinal distribution, ecology, migrating behaviour, and on limnological parameters, such as temperature tolerance. Most of the data presented in the literature are either based on the previous publications or on short studies. A long study period of more than one year of a particular water body would be helpful to explain the species diversity and species composition of aquatic biota, frequency occurrence and seasonal changes. At present no institute in Nepal carries out regular surveys and monitoring programmes, and there is an urgent need to establish a depository of specimens including holotype and paratypes which would serve for taxonomic studies, for confirmation and comparison to avoid confusion and duplication. The paucity of literature also hampers the taxonomic work. Such constraints may not only lead to taxonomic duplication but also to misleading interpretations.

This revision has attempted to cover all cold water fish species of Nepal using the latest classification and findings of fish species in Nepal. Many species need to be further studied especially for their distribution, altitudinal range and affinity for cold waters. Some species are needed to reconfirm their presence in cold waters of Nepal. With the inclusion of Dipticus maculatus Steindachner from Nepal by Jhingran and Talwar (1991) and Jayaram (1999), the total number of fish species in Nepal is now 183 as compared to 182 reported by Shrestha (2001).


My sincere thanks to Mr. K.G. Rajbansi for his critical comments and suggestions for improving the manuscript.


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