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Members of the silurid catfish genus Kryptopterus Bleeker ZBK , 1858 are small-to medium-sized fishes found in inland waters throughout Southeast Asia. In recent years, it has been generally acknowledged that Kryptopterus ZBK is a paraphyletic assemblage consisting of at least two distinct clades (Bornbusch, 1995). Recent changes in the taxonomy of the group reflect this paraphyly, in which the large species with elevated (14-17 vs. 8-13) branchiostegal-ray counts and reduced barbels are reassigned to the genus Micronema (e.g. Rainboth, 1996; Kottelat, 2001). One of the species tentatively retained in Kryptopterus ZBK , K. hexapterus , is relatively rare in collections and is a medium-sized silurid easily distinguished by the absence of a dorsal fin, strongly projecting lower jaw, and a highly-arched dorsal profile with a distinct nuchal concavity.
During an ichthyological survey of the Rajang River in northern Borneo, a series of K. hexapterus were obtained, among which included an unusual specimen with larger eye and longer, flatter barbels. Closer examination revealed this specimen to belong to an undescribed species, which is described herein as Kryptopterus platypogon ZBK , new species .