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Pangio filinaris

by Emma Turner last modified Nov 27, 2008 08:58 PM




Scientific Name: Pangio filinaris (Kottelat & Lim, 1993) 

Common name: Kuhli Loach

Synonyms: None


Pangio filinaris

Distribution: Malaysia: Pahang basin and Terengganu

Sexual Dimorphism: Females probably noticeably plumper when loaded with eggs as seen with other Pangio species. Males are said to possess obviously thickened third pectoral fin rays.

Maximum size: 5cm (2")

Similar to: Pangio oblonga, Pangio pangia                  

Care: All kuhli loaches require mature aquaria and should not be considered for newly set up tanks. A soft sandy substrate should be provided with lots of shady hiding places amongst bogwood and plants. As with other species of kuhli loach, these fish are best maintained in groups of three or more. However, given the rarity of this particular species and the fact they have only shown up in other fish shipments as 'contaminants', it may not be easy to source that many specimens. In such cases, it would be wise to provide them with company of similar species, such as P. oblonga.

                        Pangio filinaris

Description: Pangio filinaris is not commonly seen and is uniform in color (reddish brown), except for the belly area, which is lighter. The anterior nostril is pierced at the anterior base of a long nasal barbel. The body is comparitively deep, its depth 8.0-9.6 times in SL. Dorsal fin with 2 rudimentary, 1 simple, and 6 branched rays, last one split to the base. Pectoral fins with 8 rays, the 2nd ray thicker (the 3rd ray even thicker in males). Pelvic fin has 5 rays, anal fin inserted almost immediately behind vent, with 2 rudimentary, 1 simple and 5 branched rays, last one split to the base. Caudal fin emarginate, with 8+8 principal rays (7+7 branched). Three pairs of barbels, two pairs of rostral ones and one at each angle of mouth reaching about vertical of posterior margin of eye. Anterior nostril at the front side of a barbel reaching about to middle of eye. Caudal and dorsal grey-brown, other fins hyaline.


Pangio filinaris

Feeding: Sinking catfish pellets/granules, flake/crisps, small frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, brineshrimp, baby brineshrimp, cyclops etc.

Water parameters: pH: 6.0-7.0, Hardness: Soft, Max dH: 12.

Temperature: 24-26 deg C (75-79 deg F)

Breeding: There are currently no reports of this species breeding in the home aquarium.



The etymology of the name filinaris is from the Latin: filum, thread, and naris, nostril - an allusion to the anterior nostril whose rim is modified into a barbel.

                        Pangio filinaris


A wider distribution of this species is expected in the Malay peninsula, but has not yet been confirmed. 

Pangio filinaris is apparently often erroneously referred to in aquarium literature as P. mariarum (or P. mariae). This identification is likely to be based on the colouration and the presence of a nasal barbel. However, Pangio filinaris is said to be distinguished from P. mariarum (known only from northern Borneo) by a smaller size (35 mm SL, vs 68), a deeper body (body depth 8.0-9.6 times in SL, vs. 10.8-13.5), pectoral of male not curled upwards (vs. curled upwards), fewer pelvic rays (5, vs. 6) and slightly less vertebrae. The specimen shown in the photographs here is approximately 5cm SL. Whilst this is larger than the measurements given for those specimens of P. filinaris that have so far been studied, it does have only 5 anal fin rays, which means that it cannot be P. mariarum. It is also of the correct body depth for P. filinaris.

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