(CRITICALLY ENDANGERED)Dwarf loach

The dwarf loach, ladderback loach, pygmy loach, chain loach or chain botia, Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki (formerly Botia sidthimunki), is a popular freshwater tropical fish in aquariums belonging to the Cobitidae family.

The dwarf loach can grow up to 5 cm (2 in) in length. It prefers water with temperature 25 – 30 ° C (77 to 86 ° F), pH 6.5 to 6.9 dGH to 8.0. It is omnivorous, with a diet including live crustaceans, insects, snails, etc.

The dwarf loach is found in the Mae Klong River and the Khwae Noi River in western Thailand. This species is endangered and is a protected species in Thailand. It was thought to be extinct in the wild until recently rediscovered in Sangkhla Buri. While they disappeared from the wild, it remained in the aquarium trade because of artificial breeding by private fish farms for over 3 decades.

The fish was discovered by Somphong Lekaree (สมพงษ์ เล็กอารีย์) and Damri Sukaram (ดำริ สุขอร่าม) in 1959. Lekaree was an aquarium fish exporter while Sukaram was a fisherman for aquarium trade.

The binomial name of this fish is in honor of Aree Sidthimunk (Thai: อารีย์ สิทธิมังค์), a researcher at Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture

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