Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Cyprinid fishes of the genus Balantiocheilos Bleeker, 1860 ZBK (type species Barbus melanopterus Bleeker, 1851 ZBK ) are easily distinguished from other members of the family by the presence of thick and fleshy lips, the lower lip bearing a large lobe that is deeply incised medially along its posterior edge and black along the distal margins of the dorsal, caudal, anal and pelvic fins. The posterior margin of the lower lip has often been described as forming a posteriorly opening pouch or pocket between the lip and the skin of the throat (e.g., Bleeker, 1863-64: 27, 80; Weber & de Beaufort, 1916: 205; Smith, 1945: 206; Kottelat et al., 1993: 29, 110). To date, the genus has been considered monotypic and found only in river drainages of Sundaic and mainland Southeast Asia (Indochina). Balantiocheilos hekouensis Wu, in Wu et al., 1977 is a synonym of Paraspinibarbus macracanthus (Pellegrin & Chevey, 1936) (Chu & Kottelat, 1989).
A comparison between Indochinese and Sundaic specimens previously thought to be conspecific with B. melanopterus shows that two distinct species can be recognized, with the Indochinese specimens representing a new species described herein as Balantiocheilos ambusticauda .