Pangio longimanus (miniature eel-loach)

Pangio longimanus, or the miniature eel-loach, is a newly identified freshwater fish species from Central Laos

It was described scientifically for the first time this month by Museum researcher Ralf Britz and his co-author Maurice Kottelat in the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

P. longimanus is the smallest species known so far in the genus Pangio, a group of eel-shaped fishes that live in the sandy beds of slow-moving rivers and streams.

Species detail

A close-up of a pectoral fin of Pangio longimanus

Pangio longimanus males have very elongated pectoral fins.

P. longimanus is recognised by:

  • its eel-like shape
  • its tiny size (adults are less than 23mm long)
  • the extremely elongated pectoral fins of the male. The species name refers to these - longus means long, and manus means hand.
  • Pangio longimanus head
    Taxonomy

    Find out about the characteristics of this miniature fish, including pigmentation, and how it can be distinguished from other Pangio species.

  • The confluence of the Nam Leuk and Nam Gnong streams in Laos
    Distribution and habitat

    Pangio longimanus has so far only been found in one location in central Laos. Learn about the local environment.

  • Pangio longimanus female
    References

    Get reference information, including details of the paper containing the new species description.

Images

Lateral and dorsal views of male Pangio longimanus specimen

A male Pangio longimanus eel-loach from Laos. This specimen measures 20.2mm standard length. Top = lateral view, bottom = dorsal view. (Images: Ralf Britz, Natural History Museum)

Pangio longimanus female

A female Pangio longimanus eel-loach from Laos. This specimen measures 22.9mm standard length. Top = lateral view, bottom = dorsal view. (Images: Ralf Britz, Natural History Museum)

Pangio longimanus head

Close-up of male Pangio longimanus head, showing the barbels at the mouth. (Image: Ralf Britz, Natural History Museum)

Pangio longimanus pectoral fin

Pangio longimanus males have very elongated pectoral fins. (Image: Ralf Britz, Natural History Museum).

The confluence of the Nam Leuk and Nam Gnong streams in Laos

View of the location in Laos where the Nam Leuk and Nam Gnong streams meet, where Pangio longimanus has been found. © Maurice Kottelat

About the author

Patrick Campbell
Mr Patrick Campbell

Senior Curator of reptiles in the Department of Life Sciences

Author comments

There is still a lot to discover about Pangio species:

  • It will be interesting to find out if the skeleton of Pangio longimanus has also been modified and developmentally truncated as in the miniature cypriniforms Paedocypris and Danionella.
  • A recent account of the Pangio from Myanmar (Britz and Maclaine, 2007) revealed a number of new species. The same can be anticipated from countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

Glossary

Pectoral fins
A pair of fins located just behind a fish's head. They correspond to the forelimbs of mammals.

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