Zoological Research ›› 2019, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (6): 552-557.doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.065

Special Issue: Fish biology

• Letters to the editor • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Sinocyclocheilus sanxiaensis, a new blind fish from the Three Gorges of Yangtze River provides insights into speciation of Chinese cavefish

Wan-Sheng Jiang1,2, Jie Li3, Xiao-Zhong Lei3, Zhou-Rui Wen3, Yu-Zhang Han3, Jun-Xing Yang1(), Jian-Bo Chang4()   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming Yunnan 650223, China
    2. Hunan Engineering Laboratory for Chinese Giant Salamander's Resource Protection and Comprehensive Utilization, Jishou University, Zhangjiajie Hunan 427000, China
    3. Hubei Fisheries Science Research Institute, Wuhan Hubei 430071, China
    4. State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, School of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan Hubei 430072, China
  • Received:2019-07-12 Accepted:2019-09-17 Online:2019-11-18 Published:2019-10-14
  • Contact: Jun-Xing Yang,Jian-Bo Chang E-mail:yangjx@mail.kiz.ac.cn
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31672282);Species Resources Protection Project(Fishery);Agricultural Basic Long-term Observation and Monitoring Project(ZX08S182057)


A blind fish of Sinocyclocheilus (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae)was caught in open water in the Three Gorges (Sanxia)reservoir, at a depth of 20 m in the mainstream of YangtzeRiver in Zigui County, Hubei Province, China. This fish can beeasily distinguished from all other congeners by externalmorphological characteristics, and is estimated to havediverged from its sister group about 0.55 million years ago(Ma). The geologically well separated locality of this specieshas expanded the distribution of Sinocyclocheilus cavefishfrom around N25° (latitude) to above N30° . Herein, wedescribe this new species as Sinocyclocheilus sanxiaensis sp.nov., and discuss the possible reasons why the speciesappears, surprisingly, in the Three Gorges reservoir.

Key words: Cyprinidae, Sinocyclocheilus, cavefish, Three Gorges, Yangtze River