Print
Re-description of the loach species Leptobotia citrauratea (Teleostei, Botiidae), with the description of L. brachycephala from southern Zhejiang Province, China
expand article infoDong-Ming Guo§, E Zhang
‡ Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China
§ University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Open Access

Abstract

Leptobotia citrauratea (Nichols, 1925), a loach species, originally described from Dongting Lake, was recently rehabilitated, based on the examination of the holotype and non-topotypical specimens. Several field surveys conducted from 2016 to 2019 in Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces, P.R. China, yielded many specimens of Leptobotia which were initially identified as L. citrauratea. Molecular and morphological analyses of these specimens demonstrated that two distinct species are involved. One was identified as L. citrauratea, represented by specimens from both the Poyang and Dongting Lake (type locality) systems in Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces, and the other species is described as L. brachycephala, represented by specimens from the Ou-Jiang and Qu-Jiang, two coastal rivers of Zhejiang Province, China. Leptobotia brachycephala resembles L. citrauratea and L. micra in having a row of orange dots or an orange stripe along the dorsal mid-line of the body, extending from the nape to the caudal-fin base – a unique character in Leptobotia. Leptobotia brachycephala differs from L. citrauratea and L. micra Bohlen & Šlechtová, 2017, in caudal-fin shape and pelvic-fin insertion and proportional measurements including caudal-fin length, head length, predorsal length and anal-fin length. Its species status was further corroborated by position in a molecular phylogenetic analysis, based on the mitochondrial cyt b gene and its minimum uncorrected p-distance (2.9%) from congeneric species.

Keywords

Biodiversity, Cypriniformes, morphology, phylogeny, taxonomy

Introduction

The loach genus Leptobotia was erected by Bleeker (1870) with the simultaneously-described Leptobotia elongata (Bleeker, 1870) as type species by monotypy. The genus is distinguished from other genera of the family Botiidae by the presence of a simple suborbital spine beneath the eye (Tang et al. 2008). Sixteen species are currently included in Leptobotia (Kottelat 2012; Bohlen and Šlechtová 2016, 2017). The majority of these species are known from southern China, mainly in the Yangtze River (= Chang-Jiang) and Pearl River (= Zhu-Jiang) Basins and coastal rivers of southern Zhejiang Province. Two species – L. flavolineata Wang, 1981 and L. orientalis Xu, Fang & Wang, 1981 – occur in northern China (Tang et al. 2008; Kottelat 2012; Bohlen and Šlechtová 2017).

Nichols et al. (1925) described Leptobotia citrauratea from the Dongting Lake system in Hunan Province, China. Chen (1980) considered specimens of L. citrauratea to be juveniles of L. elongata. The synonymy of L. citrauratea with L. elongata was generally accepted by subsequent researchers (Kottelat 2004, 2012). However, Nalbant (2002) regarded L. citrauratea to be a valid species. Bohlen and Šlechtová (2017), based on examination of the holotype and non-topotypical specimens from the Poyang Lake system in Jiangxi Province, southern China, recognised L. citrauratea as a valid species. A row of orange dots or an orange stripe along the dorsal mid-line distinguishes it from L. elongata.

Several field surveys conducted by us from 2016 to 2019 in Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces, yielded many specimens of Leptobotia with a row of orange dots or an orange stripe along the dorsal mid-line and orange or yellowish-brown lateral portion, by which they were initially identified as L. citrauratea. These specimens were recovered in two distinct lineages in a phylogenetic analysis, based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene sequences. Morphological analysis also indicated that two distinct species are involved. One of them was identified as L. citrauratea, represented by specimens sampled from the Poyang and Dongting Lake systems. The other species is an undescribed species represented by specimens from the Ou-Jiang and Qu-Jiang in Zhejiang Province. The present study aims to provide a re-description of L. citrauratea, based on fresh topotypical specimens and the formal description of the undescribed species.

Materials and methods

Specimens were either initially fixed in 10% formalin and then transferred to 70% ethanol for morphological examination or preserved in 95% ethanol for DNA extraction. Seventy-three specimens from the three species (L. citrauratea, L. elongata and L. brachycephala) were used for morphometric analysis. Voucher specimens are kept in the ichthyological collection of the Museum of Aquatic Organisms at the Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.

Twenty-five measurements (Tables 1, 2) were taken from 22 specimens of Leptobotia elongata collected from the upper Chang-Jiang Basin in Sichuan Province; 29 specimens of L. citrauratea from the Gan-Jiang (an effluent of Poyang Lake) and Dongting Lake; and 22 specimens of L. brachycephala from the Ou-Jiang and Qu-Jiang. Measurements were taken point to point with digital calipers directly linked to a data-recording computer and data recorded to the nearest 0.1 mm. All measurements and counts were made on the left side of each specimen, following the methods of Kottelat (2001) and Xin et al. (2009). The lateral head length and measurements of other parts of the body were given as percentages of the standard length (SL) and measurements of parts of the head were expressed as proportions of the lateral head length (HL). Morphometric variation was analysed with Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in Past v.1.89 (Hammer et al. 2009). The PCA was made with log-transformed measurement data to a tenth of a millimetre in a covariance matrix and without rotation.

Table 1.

Morphometric measurements for three species of Leptobotia: L. citrauratea, L. elongata and L. brachycephala.

L. citrauratea L. elongata L. brachycephala sp. nov.
Dongting Lake (n = 17) Poyang Lake (n = 12) Chang-Jiang (n = 22) Holotype Paratypes (n = 21)
Range Mean±SD Range Mean±SD Range Mean±SD Range Mean±SD
SL (mm) 47.0–65.3 52.9±4.2 33.3–42.7 37.5±2.6 97.8–272.0 180.2±52.1 63.9 43.7–66.8 56.1±5.7
Morphometric data
% of SL
Body depth 14.8–18.8 16.7±1.4 15.7–19.2 17.2±1.0 17.3–23.7 20.0±1.7 12.9 11.1–15.8 12.8±1.1
Body width at dorsal origin 8.7–12.5 10.5±1.1 9.7–12.4 11.4±0.8 8.3–14.9 11.4±1.5 7.6 6.3–9.7 8.3±0.9
Head length 22.5–25.6 24.2±0.8 23.8–26.8 25.4±0.8 24.4–31.4 27.8±1.8 19.9 18.4–22.8 20.6±1.1
Dorsal-fin length 14.9–18.0 16.9±0.9 13.7–16.8 14.9±1.0 16.3–22.0 18.7±1.6 10.6 9.0–11.6 10.3±0.7
Pectoral-fin length 14.8–21.1 17.0±2.0 13.8–17.5 15.6±1.0 14.4–18.2 16.8±0.9 12.8 9.6–14.2 11.9±1.1
Pelvic-fin length 12.7–16.9 13.7±1.1 12.1–14.3 13.3±0.6 13.3–16.3 14.9±0.7 10.2 9.1–12.6 10.6±0.9
Anal-fin length 14.7–17.7 16.3±0.8 13.0–15.9 14.2±0.9 15.8–20.2 18.0±1.2 9.3 8.1–11.4 10.0±0.8
Upper caudal-lobe length 23.6–26.9 25.5±0.9 23.6–26.7 25.1±1.0 23.1–30.0 25.9±2.1 18.4 15.2–20.8 17.9±1.5
Median caudal-ray length 11.5–13.7 12.4±0.6 13.2–15.0 14.2±0.5 9.6–13.1 10.7±1.0 13.0 11.5–15.0 13.0±0.9
Caudal-peduncle length 12.1–15.8 13.9±0.9 12.5–14.2 13.3±0.5 13.8–17.1 15.5±0.9 17.3 14.6–20.0 17.7±1.6
Caudal-peduncle depth 10.4–12.9 11.6±0.7 11.3–13.5 12.3±0.7 10.9–13.8 12.1±0.7 11.5 10.3–14.4 11.7±1.1
Caudal-peduncle width 2.1–3.9 2.9±0.7 3.2–4.2 3.7±0.3 2.6–4.8 3.6±0.6 2.8 1.7–4.3 3.1±0.8
Predorsal length 51.4–56.3 54.0±1.2 52.8–55.3 53.9±0.7 54.5–58.8 56.5±1.2 51.7 49.9–54.7 52.7±1.6
Prepectoral length 21.7–26.8 23.7±1.1 23.4–25.5 24.5±0.6 25.1–31.6 28.3±1.8 19.7 18.9–23.4 20.5±1.1
Prepelvic length 53.2–59.0 56.5±1.7 52.3–56.0 54.4±1.2 56.0–61.5 57.8±1.6 49.2 47.9–53.1 50.9±1.5
Preanal length 76.7–81.4 79.0±1.3 75.0–81.3 78.1±1.6 75.9–79.8 77.4±1.1 74.6 70.2–76.9 73.8±1.6
Vent to anal distance 6.8–10.3 8.9±0.9 6.7–8.3 7.5±0.6 6.1–10.1 8.4±1.1 10.4 7.4–10.7 9.3±0.9
Pelvic to anal distance 19.9–25.7 22.9±1.8 20.2–23.6 21.4±1.1 16.5–23.0 19.3±1.5 24.4 20.3–24.6 22.0±1.3
% of HL
Head depth at nape 56.4–63.1 59.3±1.6 55.0–62.8 58.8±2.0 53.6–64.2 57.4±2.8 51.8 49.0–56.8 52.8±2.6
Head depth at eye 42.3–48.4 45.8±2.1 43.6–49.7 47.0±1.8 40.5–48.5 43.7±2.1 38.6 37.7–45.8 41.8±2.7
Snout length 35.4–43.9 39.6±2.3 35.1–42.5 38.4±2.0 35.7–42.6 38.4±2.1 36.2 35.6–41.8 38.2±2.3
Postorbital head length 48.5–54.8 51.6–2.0 50.8–55.2 52.5±1.6 54.5–61.9 57.8±1.9 55.2 52.4–60.0 56.2–2.6
Eye diameter 9.2–12.1 10.3±1.0 9.3–10.8 10.0±0.5 4.2–8.4 6.0±1.1 11.4 9.1–12.2 10.4±0.9
Interorbital width 14.5–22.8 17.3±2.4 16.1–19.6 17.7±1.1 12.3–17.7 14.8±1.5 17.2 11.7–17.8 15.1±2.1
Table 2.

Major diagnostic characters amongst three species with a continuous or discontinuous orange line along the dorsal mid-line of the back. Data utilised for L. micra are from Bohlen and Šlechtov (2017).

Character L. brachycephala sp.nov. (n = 22) L. citrauratea (n = 29) L. micra (n = 5)
Colour on the back of body A continuous or discontinuous orange line along dorsal mid-line A row of rounded orange spots along the dorsal mid-line A row of rounded orange spots along the dorsal mid-line
Dorsal-fin origin Slightly posterior to pelvic–fin insertion Slightly anterior to or superior to pelvic–fin insertion Slightly posterior to or superior to pelvic–fin insertion
Caudal-fin shape Emarginate with rounded lobes; median rays 1.2–1.5 times as long as upper lobe. Strongly forked, with broadly pointed lobes; median rays 1.7–2.3 times as long as upper lobe. Moderately forked, with broadly pointed lobes; median rays 1.3–1.4 times as long as upper lobe.
Predorsal length 49.9–54.7 51.4–56.3 58.1–59.0
Body depth (% SL) 11.1–15.8 14.8–19.2 15.3–18.3
Head length (% SL) 18.4–22.8 22.5–26.8 23.6–25.9
Upper caudal-lobe length (% SL) 15.2–20.8 23.6–26.9 18.7–23.9
Caudal-peduncle length (% SL) 14.6–20.0 12.1–15.8 11.8–13.5
Dorsal-fin length (% SL) 9.0–11.6 13.7–18.0 11.0–14.6
Anal-fin length (% SL) 8.1–11.4 13.0–17.7 15.3–16.8
Table 3.

Species included in this analysis with specimen voucher, sampling location and basin, haplotype and GenBank accession number; the haplotype with * means downloaded from GenBank.

Species Specimen voucher Sampling location Basin Haplotype GenBank no. Source
L. brachycephala 201909034355 Wenzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Ou-Jiang H1 MT747394 This study
L. brachycephala 201909034354 Wenzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Ou-Jiang H1 MT747394 This study
L. brachycephala 201909034353 Wenzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Ou-Jiang H1 MT747394 This study
L. brachycephala 201909034352 Wenzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Ou-Jiang H1 MT747394 This study
L. brachycephala IHB2017056869 Quzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qu-Jiang H1 MT747394 This study
L. brachycephala IHB2017056870 Quzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qu-Jiang H1 MT747394 This study
L. brachycephala IHB2017056871 Quzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qu-Jiang H1 MT747394 This study
L. brachycephala IHB20181010544 Qingtian, Zhejiang Prov. Ou-Jiang H1 MT747394 This study
L. brachycephala 201909034349 Wenzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Ou-Jiang H2 MT747395 This study
L. brachycephala IHB20181010537 Qingtian, Zhejiang Prov. Ou-Jiang H3 MT747396 This study
L. tientainensis IHB2017056861 Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Prov. Rao-He H1 MT747348 This study
L. tientainensis IHB2017056836 Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Prov. Rao-He H1 MT747348 This study
L. tientainensis IHB2017056835 Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Prov. Rao-He H1 MT747348 This study
L. tientainensis IHB2017056834 Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Prov. Rao-He H1 MT747348 This study
L. tientainensis IHB2017056833 Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Prov. Rao-He H1 MT747348 This study
L. tientainensis 201909034356 Linhai, Zhejiang Prov. Ling-Jiang H1 MT747348 This study
L. tchangi IHB2018099882 Shaoxing, Zhejiang Prov. Cao'e-Jiang H1 MT747349 This study
L. tchangi IHB2018099861 Shaoxing, Zhejiang Prov. Cao'e-Jiang H1 MT747349 This study
L. tchangi 201909034361 Shaoxing, Zhejiang Prov. Cao'e-Jiang H1 MT747349 This study
L. tchangi IHB2018099848 Quzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qu-Jiang H2 MT747350 This study
L. tchangi IHB201904029046 Hangzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qiantang-Jiang H2 MT747350 This study
L. tchangi IHB201904029045 Hangzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qiantang-Jiang H2 MT747350 This study
L. tchangi 201904028852 Hangzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qiantang-Jiang H2 MT747350 This study
L. tchangi IHB2018099847 Quzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qu-Jiang H3 MT747351 This study
L. tchangi IHB2018099846 Quzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qu-Jiang H4 MT747352 This study
L. tchangi IHB2018099845 Quzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qu-Jiang H4 MT747352 This study
L. tchangi IHB2018099844 Quzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qu-Jiang H5 MT747353 This study
L. tchangi IHB201904029047 Hangzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qiantang-Jiang H6 MT747354 This study
L. tchangi IHB201904029044 Hangzhou, Zhejiang Prov. Qiantang-Jiang H6 MT747354 This study
L. taeniops IHB2017056865 Nanchang, Jiangxi Prov. Gan-Jiang H1 MT747355 This study
L. taeniops IHB2017056864 Nanchang, Jiangxi Prov. Gan-Jiang H2 MT747356 This study
L. taeniops 201711015714 Yiyang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H2 MT747356 This study
L. taeniops 201711015711 Yiyang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H2 MT747356 This study
L. taeniops 201711015710 Yiyang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H2 MT747356 This study
L. taeniops 2017101867 Yuanjiang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H2 MT747356 This study
L. taeniops 2017101866 Yuanjiang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H2 MT747356 This study
L. taeniops 201711010290 Yiyang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H2 MT747356 This study
L. taeniops 201711010026 Yiyang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H2 MT747356 This study
L. taeniops IHB2017056863 Nanchang, Jiangxi Prov. Gan-Jiang H3 MT747357 This study
L. taeniops 201711015671 Yiyang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H3 MT747357 This study
L. taeniops 201801016175 Yiyang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H4 MT747358 This study
L. taeniops 2017101865 Yuanjiang, Hunan Prov. Zi-Shui H5 MT747359 This study
L. rubrilabris 201904028870 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H1 MT747360 This study
L. rubrilabris 201904028867 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H2 MT747361 This study
L. rubrilabris 201904028858 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H2 MT747361 This study
L. rubrilabris 201904028866 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H3 MT747362 This study
L. rubrilabris 201904028865 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H4 MT747363 This study
L. rubrilabris 201904028863 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H5 MT747364 This study
L. punctata 201909037450 Baise, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H1 MT747365 This study
L. punctata 018099887 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H1 MT747365 This study
L. punctata 201909037448 Baise, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747366 This study
L. punctata 201909037447 Baise, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747366 This study
L. punctata 201909037446 Baise, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H3 MT747367 This study
L. punctata 201909037445 Baise, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H4 MT747368 This study
L. punctata 018099886 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H4 MT747368 This study
L. punctata 018099885 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H5 MT747369 This study
L. pellegrini IHB2018099886 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H1 MT747370 This study
L. pellegrini IHB2018099885 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747371 This study
L. pellegrini IHB2018099884 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747371 This study
L. pellegrini IHB2018099840 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747371 This study
L. pellegrini IHB2018099839 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747371 This study
L. pellegrini 201909034360 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747371 This study
L. pellegrini 201909034359 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747371 This study
L. pellegrini 201909034358 Liuzhou, Guangxi Prov. Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747371 This study
L. microphthalma 201904028856 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H1 MT747372 This study
L. microphthalma 201904028850 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H1 MT747372 This study
L. microphthalma 201904028855 Neijiang, Sichuan Prov. Upper Chang-Jiang H2 MT747373 This study
L. microphthalma IHB2016105308 Leshan, Sichuan Prov. Min-Jiang H2 MT747373 This study
L. microphthalma IHB2016105306 Leshan, Sichuan Prov. Min-Jiang H2 MT747373 This study
L. microphthalma IHB2016105311 Leshan, Sichuan Prov. Min-Jiang H3 MT747374 This study
L. microphthalma IHB2016105307 Leshan, Sichuan Prov. Min-Jiang H3 MT747374 This study
L. microphthalma IHB2016105310 Leshan, Sichuan Prov. Min-Jiang H4 MT747375 This study
L. microphthalma IHB2016105309 Leshan, Sichuan Prov Min-Jiang H5 MT747376 This study
L. hengyangensis 2017042831 Hengyang, Hunan Prov Xiang-Jiang H1 MT747377 This study
L. hengyangensis 2017042828 Hengyang, Hunan Prov Xiang-Jiang H2 MT747378 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040820 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H1 MT747379 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040812 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H1 MT747379 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040811 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H1 MT747379 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040810 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H1 MT747379 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040805 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H1 MT747379 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040818 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747380 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040815 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H2 MT747380 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040813 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H3 MT747381 This study
L. guilinensis 2015040808 Guilin, Guangxi Prov Zhu-Jiang H4 MT747382 This study
L. elongata IHB2018059216 Leshan, Sichuan Prov Min-Jiang H1 MT747383 This study
L. elongata IHB2018059215 Leshan, Sichuan Prov Min-Jiang H2 MT747384 This study
L. elongata SCULE007 Unknown H2* NC018764 GenBank
L. elongata Unknown Luzhou, Sichuan Prov Upper Chang-Jiang H2* AY625715 GenBank
L. elongata IHB2018059214 Leshan, Sichuan Prov Min-Jiang H3 MT747385 This study
L. elongata 201904028849 Leshan, Sichuan Prov Min-Jiang H4 MT747386 This study
L. elongata IAPG A214 Unknown H5* AY887779 GenBank
L. elongata Unknown Unknown H6* KY307845 GenBank
L. citrauratea IHB2017056860 Nanchang, Jiangxi Prov Gan-Jiang H1 MT747387 This study
L. citrauratea IHB2017056859 Nanchang, Jiangxi Prov Gan-Jiang H2 MT747388 This study
L. citrauratea IHB2017056858 Nanchang, Jiangxi Prov Gan-Jiang H3 MT747389 This study
L. citrauratea 201711016295 Nanxian, Hunan Prov Donngting Lake H3 MT747389 This study
L. citrauratea 201711015674 Nanxian, Hunan Prov Donngting Lake H3 MT747389 This study
L. citrauratea IHB2017056857 Nanchang, Jiangxi Prov Gan-Jiang H4 MT747390 This study
L. citrauratea 201711016297 Nanxian, Hunan Prov Donngting Lake H5 MT747391 This study
L. citrauratea 201711016296 Nanxian, Hunan Prov Donngting Lake H6 MT747392 This study
L. citrauratea 201711015675 Nanxian, Hunan Prov Donngting Lake H6 MT747392 This study
L. citrauratea 201711015716 Nanxian, Hunan Prov Donngting Lake H7 MT747393 This study
L. posterodorsalis Unknown Xiaoxi, Hunan Prov Yuan-Jiang H1* MH922928 GenBank
P. fasciata Unknown Unknown H1* AY625710 GenBank
P. lijiangensis Unknown Chenxi, Hunan Prov Yuan-Jiang H1* AY625713 GenBank

Genomic DNA was extracted from fin clips stored in ethanol using the TIANamp Genomic DNA Kit (Tiangen Biotech, Beijing) with the recommended protocol. The cyt b gene was amplified by primers L14724 (GACTTGAAAAACCACCGTTG) and H15915 (CTCCGATCTCCGGATTACAAGAC) adopted from Xiao et al. (2001), with 1 μl of each primer, 1 μl template DNA, 12.5 μl Master mix Taq (Beijing TsingKe Biotech Co. Ltd.) and 9.5 μl double distilled water (dd H2O) for a total reaction volume of 25 µl. The thermocycling conditions were as follows: initial denaturation for 4 min at 94 °C, denaturation for 50 s at 94 °C, annealing for 50 s at 55 °C and extension for 1 min at 72 °C. After 34–35 cycles, the final extension was done at 72 °C for 10 min and the PCR product was preserved at 4 °C. Sequencing was carried out by the Tianyihuiyuan Biotechnology Company.

A total of 98 cyt b sequences were generated from 12 species of Leptobotia. These sequences were used for phylogenetic analysis together with five sequences from two congeneric species (L. posterodorsalis Lan & Chen, 1992 and L. elongata) and two sequences serving as outgroup (Parabotia fasciata Dabry de Thiersant, 1872 and P. lijiangensis Chen, 1980) downloaded from GenBank (Table 3).

The sequences were aligned utilising MAFFT version 7 (Katoh and Standley 2013) and ends trimmed, for a total alignment length of 1060 bp. The genetic distance, based on the uncorrected p-distance model (Kumar et al. 2016), was calculated with MEGA 7.0. DNASP v.5 was utilised to filter the haplotype (Librado and Rozas 2009).

PhyloSuite (Zhang et al. 2020) was used for phylogenetic analyses. The selection of the best-fit model of nucleotide evolution based on Akaike’s Information Criterion was performed in ModelFinder (Kalyaanamoorthy et al. 2017). MrBayes 3.2.6 (Ronquist et al. 2012) was utilised for Bayesian analysis with the selected model: GTR+I+G+F, applying the optimal nucleotide evolution model and the MCMC method with four chains (three hot chains and one cold chain) running simultaneously for 6,000,000 generations to calculate posterior probability. Trees were sampled for every 1000 cycles. The initial 25% of sampled data were discarded as burn-in. Sufficient mixing of the chains was regarded to be reached when the average standard deviation of split frequencies was below 0.01.

Taxonomy

Leptobotia citrauratea Nichols, 1925

(Fig. 1a–c)

Botia citrauratea Nichols, 1925: 5 [Tungting [now Dongting] Lake, Hunan Province

Leptobotia elongata: Chen, 1980: 14 (no localities). Kottelat, 2004:15 (no localities); 2012:16 (no locality)

Leptobotia citrauratea: Nalbant, 2002: 316 (no localities). Bohlen & Šlechtová, 2017: 90 (Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province)

Material examined

Leptobotia citrauratea: AMNH 8402, holotype, 50 mm SL; China: Hunan Province: Dungting Lake (photograph examined); collected by Clifford H. Pope, 29 December 1921; IHB 2017100260-65, 201801026314, 201711016295, 201711015676, 201711015673-74, 201711015715-16, 201711016204, 201707028880, 201711015718, 201707028888, topotypes, 17 specimens, 47.0–65.3 mm SL; China: Hunan Province: Nanxian County: Dongting Lake; 29°2'29"N, 112°18'22"E; collected by C.T An, November 2017; IHB 2017056850-60, 2017056862, 12 specimens, 33.3–42.7 mm SL; China: Jiangxi Province: Nanchang City: Gan-Jiang, an effluent of Poyang Lake; 28°32'12"N, 115°49'24"E; collected by D.M. Guo, November 2019.

Figure 1. 

Lateral (upper) and dorsal (lower) view of L. citrauratea for freshly-caught specimens a IHB 2017100265, topotype, 53.0 mm SL, China, Hunan Province, Yiyang City, Nanxian County, Dongting Lake b IHB 2017056850, 38.1 mm SL, China, Jiangxi Province, Nanchang City, Gan-Jiang c AMNH 8402, holotype, 50 mm SL, China, Hunan Province, Dungting (presently Dongting) Lake (photos by Department of Ichthyology, American Museum of Natural History).

Diagnosis

Leptobotia citrauratea shares with L. micra and L. brachycephala the unique presence of a row of orange spots or an orange stripe along the dorsal mid-line of the body, extending from the nape to the caudal-fin base. It differs from L. micra and L. brachycephala by having a deeply forked (vs. emarginate) caudal fin (length of median rays 1.7–2.3 times in length of upper lobe vs. 1.3–1.4 in L. micra and 1.2–1.5 in L. brachycephala), pelvic fin inserted slightly posterior or inferior (vs. slightly anterior in L. brachycephala) to the dorsal-fin origin, a longer head (22.5–26.8% SL vs. 18.4–22.8% SL in L. brachycephala) and a shorter predorsal distance (51.4–56.3% SL vs. 58.1–59% SL in L. micra) (Table 2, Fig. 2).

Figure 2. 

Relationship between body depth and SL (a), between head length and SL (b), between caudal-peduncle length and SL (c) and between pectoral-fin length and SL (d) for two closely-related species: L. brachycephala (gray triangle) and L. citrauratea (light blue diamond).

Description

Morphometric data for specimens examined in Tables 1, 2. See Fig. 1 for lateral and dorsal view of body. Body slender, strongly compressed laterally, with maximum depth at dorsal-fin origin. Predorsal body profile slightly convex. Ventral profile of head slightly concave or straight; ventral profile of body almost straight or slightly concave from pectoral-fin insertion to anal-fin origin and slightly convex from anal-fin origin to caudal-fin base. Lateral line nearly complete, extending along mid-lateral of body. Cheek and trunk covered with minute scales.

Head short, compressed laterally, length greater than maximum body depth. Snout slightly concave in lateral view, slightly shorter than postorbital head. Eye small, dorsolateral, in upper half of head; diameter less than interorbital space. Mouth inferior, with opening laterally extended to vertical through anterior margin of nostril. Button-like fleshy protrusion in gular region absent. Two rostral barbels at tip of snout. Maxillary barbel in corner of mouth, reaching beyond vertical through posterior margin of nostrils, not or just approaching to level of anterior margin of eye. Simple suborbital spine ventral to anterior margin of eye, reaching posterior margin of eye.

Fin rays flexible. Dorsal fin with 4 unbranched and 8 branched rays; distal margin slightly concave; origin slightly anterior to or superior to pelvic-fin insertion and closer to caudal-fin base than to snout tip. Pectoral fin with 1 unbranched and 10–11 branched rays, tip of depressed fin extending about midway between pectoral-fin and pelvic-fin insertion. Pelvic fin with 1 unbranched and 7 branched rays, reaching about half of distance between pelvic-fin insertion and anal-fin origin and just reaching anus. Anus closer to anal-fin insertion than pelvic-fin insertion. Anal fin with 3 unbranched and 5 branched rays, tip of depressed fin not extending to caudal-fin base; distal margin slightly concave. Caudal fin strongly forked, median fin rays 1.7–2.3 times as long as lobes; upper and lower lobes broadly pointed and almost equal in length and shape.

Colouration

In freshly-collected specimens, ground colour of head and body yellowish-brown or orange; lateral head and flank faintly peppered with dark grey flecks. Dorsal side of head and body dark with some rounded light orange spots usually fused to form an orange stripe extending along mid-line of dorsum from nape to caudal-fin base. Anterior to orange spots or light stripe, an orangish stripe present between eye and nape. Faint dark grey stripe extending from snout tip to anterior margin of eye. Grey bar, similar in width to eye diameter, present on caudal-fin base. In some specimens, caudal fin hyaline, in others with dark grey stripes. Single row of faint dark grey stripes present in dorsal fin.

In specimens preserved in formalin, ground colour slightly faded, not presenting vivid yellowish-brown or orange, but becoming whitish-grey and peppered with dark flecks. Dorsum and head darkened. Orange spots along mid-line of dorsum white. Dorsal, pectoral, pelvic and anal fins greyish-yellow at base with white distal margins. Caudal fin dusky.

Geographical distribution and habitat

Leptobotia citrauratea is known from Dongting Lake in Hunan Province and the Gan-Jiang, discharging into Poyang Lake, in Jiangxi Province, southern China (Fig. 3). The specimens here described were collected in deep and slow-running water with mixed substrate. Syntopic fish species included Saurogobio dabryi Bleeker, 1871, Parabotia banarescui (Nalbant, 1965) and Hemibarbus maculatus Bleeker, 1871.

Figure 3. 

Collection localities of L. brachycephala (dark blue star) and L. citrauratea (light green dot).

Leptobotia brachycephala sp. nov.

(Fig. 4a, b)

Holotype

IHB 201909037510, 63.9 mm SL; China: Zhejiang Province: Qingtian County: a stream discharging into the Ou-Jiang; 28°10'20"N, 120°12'51"E; collected by E Zhang and D.M. Guo, 8 October 2018.

Paratypes

IHB 2017056858, 2017056869-80, 13 specimens, 54.2–66.8 mm SL; China: Zhejiang Province: Quzhou City: a stream flowing into the Qu-Jiang; 28°57'6"N, 118°51'15"E; collected by D.M. Guo, 15 December 2019.

Non-types examined

IHB 64VI410-15, 930138-39, 8 specimens, 43.7–60.5 mm SL; China: Zhejiang Province: Longquan City: a stream flowing into the Ou-Jiang; 28°4'12"N, 119°6'54"E; collected in 1964 and 1983.

Diagnosis

Leptobotia brachycephala, together with L. citrauratea and L. micra, is distinguished from all other congeneric species by the presence (vs. absence) of a row of orange dots or an orange stripe extending along the dorsal mid-line of the body from the nape to the caudal-fin base (Fig. 4a, b: lower). It differs from L. citrauratea and L. micra in having an emarginate (vs. forked) caudal fin with two rounded (vs. broadly pointed) lobes (Figs 1a–c, 4a, b: upper), a shorter head (18.4–22.8% SL vs. 22.5–26.8% SL in L. citrauratea and 23.6–25.9% SL in L. micra), a slender caudal peduncle (14.6–20.0% SL vs. 12.1–15.8% SL in L. citrauratea and 11.8–13.5% SL in L. micra), a shorter dorsal fin (9.0–11.6% SL vs. 13.7–18% SL in L. citrauratea and 11.0–4.6% SL in L. micra) and a shorter anal fin (8.1–11.4% SL vs. 13.0–17.7% SL in L. citrauratea and 15.3–16.8% SL in L. micra) (Table 2, Fig. 2).

Figure 4. 

Lateral (upper) and dorsal (lower) view of body for L. brachycephala: a IHB 201909037510, holotype, 63.9 mm SL, China, Zhejiang Province, Lishui City, Qingtian County, Ou-Jiang, kept in formalin preservative after capture b IHB 2017056867, paratype, 62.5 mm SL, freshly collected from Qu-Jiang at Kecheng District, Quzhou City, Zhejiang Province.

Description

Morphometric data given in Tables 1, 2. See Fig. 4 for lateral and dorsal view of body. Body slender, strongly compressed laterally, with greatest depth at dorsal-fin origin. Dorsal profile of head rising progressively from tip of snout to nape, from there to caudal-fin base nearly straight. Ventral profile of head slightly concave; ventral profile of body almost straight or slightly concave. Lateral line nearly complete, extending along mid-lateral body to terminate in median caudal-fin rays. Cheek and trunk covered with some minute scales.

Head short, compressed laterally, longer than maximum body depth. Snout slightly obtuse in lateral view, slightly shorter than postorbital head. Eye small, dorsolateral, in upper half of head; diameter less than interorbital width. Mouth inferior, with opening laterally extended to vertical through anterior margin of nostril. Button-like structures in gular region absent; no median incisions in lower lip. Two rostral barbels at tip of snout. Maxillary barbel in corner of mouth, not reaching to level of anterior margin of eye. Simple suborbital spine ventral to anterior margin of eye, not or just reaching posterior margin of eye.

Fin rays flexible. Dorsal fin with 4 unbranched and 8 branched rays; distal margin slightly concave; origin slightly posterior to pelvic-fin insertion and closer to caudal-fin base than to tip of snout. Pectoral fin with 1 unbranched and 10–11 branched rays, not extending to midway from pectoral-fin to pelvic-fin insertion. Pelvic fin with 1 unbranched and 7 branched rays, not extending to halfway to anal-fin origin or not reaching anus; vent closer to anal-fin origin than to pelvic-fin insertion. Anal fin with 3 unbranched and 5 branched rays, not reaching caudal-fin base; distal margin slightly concave; origin closer to pelvic-fin insertion than to caudal-fin base. Caudal fin emarginate or shallowly forked, length of median fin rays 1.3–1.5 times in length of upper lobe; caudal-fin lobes rounded; upper and lower ones almost equal in length and shape.

Colouration

In freshly-caught specimens, ground colour of head and body brownish-yellow; darker in upper half of head, but lighter in lower half of head and ventral side of body. A continuous or discontinuous orange stripe along mid-line of dorsum from nape to caudal-fin base, becoming more conspicuous towards caudal-fin base. Anterior to orange stripe, a short orange stripe present between eye and anterior margin of nape. A dark grey stripe on basal portion of dorsal fin and one stripe on dorsal fin. A dark grey band at caudal-fin base. Some irregular black stripes on caudal fin with hyaline distal edge. Distinct stripes absent from other fins. Specimens stored in formalin with ground colour of head and body pale brown. Discontinuous or continuous white line along dorsal mid-line of body also faded.

Geographical distribution and habitat

Leptobotia brachycephala is known only from the Ou-Jiang and Qu-Jiang, two coastal rivers of southern Zhejiang Province, China (Fig. 3). Type specimens were caught in fast-flowing clear water with mixed substrate including pebbles, gravels and boulders (Fig. 5). Syntopic species included Sarcocheilichthys parvus Nichols, 1930, Acrossocheilus wenchowensis Wang, 1935, Cobitis sinensis Sauvage & Dabry de Thiersant, 1874 and Rhinogobius giurinus (Rutter, 1897).

Figure 5. 

Type locality of L. brachycephala: fast-flowing clear water with mixed substrate including pebbles, gravels and boulders.

Explanation of name

The specific epithet is a Latin version of the Greek words βραχύς (short) and κεφαλά (head), with reference to the short head; to be treated as a noun in apposition.

Genetic comparisons

A total of 50 unique haplotypes were detected amongst the 103 cyt b sequences of species of Leptobotia (Table 3). The fragment contained 784 conserved sites, 276 variable sites, 233 parsimony informative sites and 43 singleton sites. The average frequency of four nucleotides of L. citrauratea was A = 27.8%, T = 27.8%, C = 30.3% and G = 14.1%. The intraspecific genetic distance, calculated for sampled species of Leptobotia with more than one haplotype, varied from 0.1% to 0.8%. Leptobotia citrauratea is separated from other congeneric species by high genetic divergences of 2.9% to 10.5%; its intraspecific genetic distance was 0.4%. The genetic distance of L. brachycephala versus congeneric species ranged from 2.9% to 10.6%; its intraspecific genetic distance was 0.1% (Table 4).

Table 4.

Genetic distances of the cyt b gene computed by MEGA 7 amongst 13 analysed species of Leptobotia.

Species Intraspecific 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1 L. tientainensis n/c
2 L. tchangi 0.003 0.078
3 L. taeniops 0.003 0.081 0.058
4 L. rubrilabris 0.002 0.077 0.057 0.055
5 L. punctata 0.004 0.106 0.104 0.111 0.096
6 L. pellegrini 0.002 0.077 0.064 0.073 0.061 0.107
7 L. microphthalma 0.004 0.067 0.069 0.067 0.061 0.092 0.077
8 L. hengyangensis 0.008 0.069 0.041 0.057 0.047 0.098 0.059 0.059
9 L. guilinensis 0.002 0.018 0.086 0.086 0.080 0.110 0.080 0.069 0.079
10 L. elongata 0.002 0.073 0.071 0.073 0.066 0.096 0.067 0.053 0.067 0.073
11 L. citrauratea 0.004 0.079 0.075 0.069 0.062 0.105 0.076 0.061 0.069 0.080 0.071
12 L. posterodorsalis n/c 0.066 0.069 0.074 0.068 0.104 0.069 0.070 0.066 0.069 0.068 0.065
13 L. brachycephala 0.001 0.076 0.072 0.071 0.064 0.106 0.065 0.064 0.066 0.078 0.067 0.029 0.060

In the Bayesian 50% majority consensus tree, samples of L. brachycephala formed a well-supported (100% pp) lineage and so did those of both L. citrauratea and L. elongata. L. citrauratea was distantly allied to L. elongata, but robustly supported by 100% pp to be sister to L. brachycephala (Fig. 6).

Figure 6. 

Bayesian Inference tree inferred from the cyt b gene for 13 analysed species of Leptobotia. Nodal numbers are posterior probability values greater than 50%

Comparative morphometrics

In the Principal Component Analysis of specimens of L. citrauratea from Dongting Lake and the Gan-Jiang and L. brachycephala from the Ou-Jiang and Qu-Jiang, the first three components explained 91.60% of the total variance, of which 64.58%, 19.61% and 7.41% were explained, respectively by PC 1, PC 2 and PC 3 (Table 5). In the scatterplot of PC 2 and PC 3 loadings (Fig. 7), specimens of L. citrauratea and L. brachycephala constituted two distinct clusters separated on the PC 2 axis. Six characters with main loading on this axis were caudal-peduncle length, anal-fin length, dorsal-fin length, upper caudal-lobe length, pectoral-fin length and vent to anal-fin distance. Except for the last character, all of them exhibited differences in the morphometric comparisons. Table 2 and Fig. 2 show the main morphological characters.

Figure 7. 

Scatter plot of the principal components II and principal components III, extracted from morphometric data of L. brachycephala: Ou-Jiang (plus symbol). L. citrauratea: Dongting Lake (black circle) and Gan-Jiang (white diamond).

Table 5.

Loadings of morphological traits on the first three principal components. Variables in bold indicate higher loading values.

Variable PC1 PC2 PC3
Standard length 0.224 -0.150 -0.079
Body depth 0.164 0.155 0.060
Body width at dorsal origin 0.163 0.123 0.287
Head length 0.169 0.050 -0.002
Head depth at nape 0.165 0.173 0.108
Head depth at eye 0.148 0.150 0.112
Caudal-peduncle length 0.288 -0.445 -0.100
Caudal-peduncle depth 0.206 -0.138 -0.026
Caudal-peduncle width 0.169 -0.237 0.862
Dorsal-fin length 0.197 0.375 -0.025
Pectoral-fin length 0.187 0.241 -0.118
Pelvic-fin length 0.176 0.144 -0.124
Anal-fin length 0.199 0.381 0.014
Upper caudal-lobe length 0.162 0.259 -0.031
Predorsal length 0.218 -0.122 -0.082
Prepectoral length 0.181 0.029 -0.025
Prepelvic length 0.228 -0.039 -0.030
Preanal length 0.220 -0.075 -0.052
Vent to anal-fin origin 0.325 -0.242 -0.216
Pelvic-fin insertion to anal-fin origin 0.256 -0.130 -0.059
Snout length 0.186 0.076 0.072
Postorbital head length 0.170 -0.035 -0.087
Eye diameter 0.180 0.035 -0.023
Interorbital width 0.156 0.209 0.099
Median caudal-ray length 0.147 -0.168 -0.119
Cumulative variance (%) 64.6 19.6 7.4

Discussion

Nichols et al. (1925) described the colour of L. citrauratea as “purplish brown; yellowish below”. This colouration is shared with freshly-caught specimens of this species from the Dongting Lake (type locality) and Poyang Lake systems (Fig. 1). Our examination of these topotypical specimens and a photograph of the holotype (AMNH 8402) (Fig. 1c) confirmed Bohlen and Šlechtová’s (2016) observation that L. citrauratea has some round orange dots or an orange stripe along the dorsal mid-line of the body. There were no significant differences in morphometric measurements and meristic counts detected between specimens from the Dongting and Poyang Lake systems (Table 1).

Chen (1980) synonymised L. citrauratea with L. elongata, a species found in the mid-upper Chang-Jiang Basin, but without examination of their type specimens or even reference to topotypical specimens. This classification had been widely accepted by subsequent researchers until 2002 when Nalbant recognised L. citrauratea as valid. Morphological data, provided in this study, indicated that there were distinct variations between these two species. Topotypical specimens examined of L. citrauratea possessed a small-sized body of up to 70.0 mm SL, while the body size of L. elongata attained a length of 97.8 to 272.0 mm SL for available specimens caught from the upper Chang-Jiang Basin. The specimen of the species, caught by Fang (1936), reached up to 500 mm in total length. Leptobotia citrauratea has a series of small orange spots or an orange stripe along the dorsal mid-line of the body from the nape to the caudal-fin base, a yellowish-brown or orange ground colour of head and body and no black band crossing the dorsum (Fig. 1). This is contrast to L. elongata which, in light of its original account and our observation on specimens collected from the upper Chang-Jiang Basin, has a body colouration of many wide brown and transverse bands (Fig. 8a, b). Additionally, L. citrauratea differs from L. elongata in having larger eyes (diameter 9.2–12.1% HL vs. 4.2–8.4% HL; see Table 1) and pelvic fin not or just reaching (vs. exceeding) the anus. Our molecular analysis also showed that L. citrauratea had a 7.1% interspecific genetic distance with L. elongata (Table 4) and that these two species constituted two independent lineages distantly related in the phylogenetic tree, based on the cyt b gene (Fig. 6). It is thus concluded here that L. citrauratea is a species distinct from L. elongata and confined only to the mid-lower Chang-Jiang Basin (the Dongting and Poyang Lake Basins); L. elongata is actually an endemic species of the upper Chang-Jiang Basin.

Figure 8. 

a a copy of Bleeker’ (1870) illustration of L. elongata b lateral view of body for L. elongata in IHB 2018059214, 175.83 mm SL, China, Sichuan Province, Leshan City, upper Chang-Jiang Basin, kept in formalin preservative after capture c lateral view of body for L. taeniops in IHB 2017110267, 100.2 mm SL, freshly caught from Dongting Lake at Nanxian County, Yiyang City, Hunan Province, South China.

Nichols et al. (1925) recognised three species of Botia from the Dongting Lake system: one previously-described species as Botia rubrilabris Dabry de Thiersant, 1872 and two new species, B. purpurea and B. citrauratea. These three species were later referred to Leptobotia where B. purpurea were synonymised with L. taeniops (Sauvage, 1878) (Chen 1980; Kottelat 2004, 2012). The latest report on the distribution of L. rubirilabris (Dabry de Thiersant, 1872) in this Lake was Anonymous (1980) who caught a single specimen of 80.0 mm SL. This specimen, in light of their description, has a button-like fleshy protrusion in the gular area, a character diagnostic for L. rubirilabris within this genus (Chen 1980); thus, it is conspecific with this species. Recent field surveys, conducted by us from 2014 to 2018 in Dongting Lake, yielded no specimens of this species. Likely, it was extirpated in this Basin. Leptobotia citrauratea mainly differs from L. rubrilabris, caught from the upper Chang-Jiang Basin (its type locality), in having a shorter (vs. longer) suborbital spine just reaching (vs. far beyond) the posterior margin of the eye and no button-like fleshy protrusion in the gular area (vs. present) (Fig. 9).

Figure 9. 

Ventral view of the mouth of two species a L. rubrilabris, IHB 581-032, 150.2 mm SL, China, Chongqing City, Banan District, upper Chang-Jiang b L. brachycephala, IHB 2017056872, Paratype, 66.8 mm SL, China, Zhejiang Province, Quzhou City, Kecheng District, Qu-Jiang. FP = fleshy protrusion.

The specific status of L. brachycephala was confirmed by its morphological and genetic distinction with closely-related congeneric species (Tables 24). The PCA results showed that specimens of this species from southern Zhejiang Province formed a cluster, distinct from the one formed by specimens of L. citrauratea from the Dongting and Poyang Lake systems (Fig. 7). Although L. brachycephala was robustly supported by 100% pp to be sister to L. citrauratea, their interspecific genetic distance was 2.9%.

The seventeen species currently included in Leptobotia can be subdivided into six groups, based on their body colourations. The first one is only composed of one species L. taeniops that has a unique body colouration of some irregular purplish-brown stripes in the shape of a worm on the flank, hence resulting in a marbled or vermiculated pattern (Fig. 8c). The second group, represented by L. punctata Li, Li & Chen, 2008, has a lot of irregularly-organised white spots on the flank, giving a reticulated pattern. The third group, including L. pellegrini Fang, 1936, L. elongata, L. hengyangensis Huang & Zhang, 1986, L. tchangi Fang, 1936 and L. rubrilabris, is characterised by having a body colouration of some broad brown-black blotches on the body or saddles on the dorsum. The fourth group is formed by the following four species: L. posterodorsalis, L. bellacauda Bohlen & Šlechtová, 2016, L. tientainensis (Wu, 1930) and L. microphthalma Fu & Ye, 1983, all of them having a plain brown body and no other colour formation. The fifth group has some rounded light orange spots extending along the mid-line of the dorsum from nape to caudal-fin base and three species are included in this group: L. micra, L. citrauratea and L. brachycephala. The last group has narrow bands on the body or mid-line of the back and three species can be referred to this group: L. guilinensis Chen, 1980, L. orientalis and L. flavolineata.

Comparative material

Leptobotia elongata: IHB 3609, 58199, 64V2269-70, 4 specimens, 189.6–224.7 mm SL, upper Chang-Jiang Basin at Yichang City, Hubei Province; IHB 2018059214-16, 3 specimens, 170.0–176.5 mm SL, upper Chang-Jiang Basin at Leshan City, Sichuan Province; IHB 790197, 790198-99, 3 specimens, 87.8–167.4 mm SL, upper Chang-Jiang Basin at Luzhou City, Sichuan Province; IHB 790349, 1 specimens, 161.0 mm SL, upper Chang-Jiang Basin at Yibin City, Sichuan Province; IHB 201909035604, 1 specimens, 272.0 mm SL, upper Chang-Jiang Basin at Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province; IHB 585410, 501244, 73V1466, 420457, 590452-54, 580451, 8 specimens, 116.8–236.7 mm SL, upper Chang-Jiang Basin at Chongqing City; IHB 201909035958, 201909035934, 2 specimens, 100.7–110.7 mm SL, upper Chang-Jiang Basin at Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province.

Leptobotia taeniops: IHB 2017100254-59, 2017110267, 7 specimens, 43.6–112.9 mm SL, middle Chang-Jiang Basin at Yiyang City, Hunan Province; 201807020856, 201807028170, 2 specimens, 61.2–82.4 mm SL, middle Chang-Jiang Basin at Yueyang City, Hunan Province;

Leptobotia rubrilabris: IHB 581-032, 2 specimens, 150.2 mm SL, Dongting Lake at Nanxian County, Yiyang City, Hunan Province, South China;

Leptobotia tientainensis: IHB 74VI3347-50, 4 specimens, 70.5–91.2 mm SL, Ling-Jiang at Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province;

Leptobotia guilinensis: IHB 2015040803, 1 specimen, 70.3 mm SL, Zhu-Jiang at Guilin City, Guangxi Province;

Leptobotia tchangi: IHB 201904029044, 1 specimen, 80.4 mm SL, Qiantang-Jiang at Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province;

Leptobotia pellegrini: IHB 2018099839, 1 specimen, 103.2 mm SL, Zhu-Jiang at Liuzhou City, Guangxi Province;

Leptobotia hengyangensis: IHB 2017042831, 2017042828, 2 specimens, 99.7–102.8 mm SL, Xiang-Jiang at Hengyang City, Hunan Province;

Leptobotia microphthalma: IHB 2016105306, 1 specimen, 78.3 mm SL, upper Chang-Jiang Basin at Leshan City, Sichuan Province.

Data for L. bellacauda and L. micra were taken from Bohlen and Šlechtová (2016), (2017).

Acknowledgements

Our sincere thanks go to Chang-Ting An, Xiao Chen, Wei-Han Shao, Zi-Tong Wang and Hao-Jun Chen for their kind assistance with collecting samples. In addition, we express our deepest gratitude to Liang Cao and Shu-Qing Deng for their help with laboratory analyses. This study was funded by two special funds of Biodiversity Survey, Monitoring and Assessment (2017HB2096001006 and 2019HB2096001006).

References

  • Anonymous (1980) The Fishes of Hunan. Hunan Science and Technology Press, Changsha, 163 pp.
  • Bohlen J, Šlechtová V (2016) Leptobotia bellacauda, a new species of loach from the lower Yangtze Basin in China (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Botiidae). Zootaxa 4205: 65–72. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4205.1.5
  • Chen JX (1980) A study on the classification of the Botoid fishes of China. Zoological Research 1: 23–28.
  • Fang PW (1936) Study on botoid fishes of China. Sinensia 7: 1–49.
  • Hammer O, Harper D, Ryan P (2009) PAST–Palaeontological statistics, ver. 1.89. Palaeontologia Electronica 4: 1–92.
  • Kalyaanamoorthy S, Minh BQ, Wong TKF, von Haeseler A, Jermiin LS (2017) ModelFinder: fast model selection for accurate phylogenetic estimates. Nature Methods 14: 587–589. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.4285
  • Katoh K, Misawa K, Kuma K, Miyata T (2002) MAFFT: a novel method for rapid multiple sequence alignment based on fast Fourier transform. Nucleic Acids Research 30(14): 3059–3066. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkf436
  • Katoh K, Standley DM (2013) MAFFT multiple sequence alignment software version 7: improvements in performance and usability. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30: 772–780. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/mst010
  • Kottelat M (2001) Fishes of Laos. Wildlife Heritage Trust Publications, Colombo, 198 pp.
  • Kottelat M (2004) Botia kubotai, a new species of loach (Teleostei : Cobitidae) from the Ataran River basin (Myanmar), with comments on botiine nomenclature and diagnosis of a new genus. Zootaxa 401: 1–18. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.401.1.1
  • Kottelat M (2012) Conspectus Cobitinum: an inventory of the loaches of the world (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitoidei). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Suppl 26: 1–199.
  • Kumar S, Stecher G, Tamura K (2016) MEGA7: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 7.0 for bigger datasets. Molecular Biology and Evolution 33(7): 1870–1874. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msw054
  • Nalbant TT (2002) Sixty million years of evolution. Part one: Family Botiidae (Pisces: Ostariophysi: Cobitoidea). Travaux du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle “Grigore Antipa” 44: 309–333.
  • Nichols JT, Pope CH, Caldwell HR, Granger W (1925) Some Chinese fresh-water fishes. I. Loaches of the genus Botia in the Yangtze Basin. II. A new minnow-like carp from Szechwan. III. The Chinese sucker, Myxocyprinus. American Museum Novitates 177: 1–9.
  • Ronquist F, Teslenko M, van der Mark P, Ayres DL, Darling A, Hohna S, Larget B, Liu L, Suchard MA, Huelsenbeck JP (2012) MrBayes 3.2: efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space. Systematic Biology 61: 539–542. https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/sys029
  • Wang HY (1981) On a new cobitid fish of the genus Leptobotia from Beijing. Memoirs of the Beijing Natural History Museum 12: 1–3.
  • Xu TQ, Fang SM, Wang HY (1981) A new species of fishes of the genus Leptobotia (family Cobitidae) from China. Zoological Research 2(4): 87–89.
  • Xiao WH, Zhang YP, Liu HZ (2001) Molecular systematics of Xenocyprinae (Teleostei: Cyprinidae): Taxonomy, biogeography, and coevolution of a special group restricted in east Asia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18: 163–173. https://doi.org/10.1006/mpev.2000.0879
  • Xin Q, Zhang E, Cao WX (2009) Onychostoma virgulatum, a new species of cyprinid fish (Pisces: Teleostei) from southern Anhui Province, South China. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 20(3): 255–266.
  • Zhang D, Gao FL, Jakovlic I, Zou H, Zhang J, Li WX, Wang GT (2020) PhyloSuite: an integrated and scalable desktop platform for streamlined molecular sequence data management and evolutionary phylogenetics studies. Molecular Ecology Resources 20: 348–355. https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13096