Sinocyclocheilus is a genus of freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae endemic to China, where only found in Guangxi, Guizhou and Yunnan.[1] Almost all of its species live in or around caves and most of these have adaptions typical of cavefish such as a lack of scales, lack of pigmentation and reduced eyes (some are completely blind).[1][2] Several species have an unusual hunchbacked appearance and some of the cave-dwellers have a "horn" on the back (above the forehead), the function of which is unclear.[1][2] In contrast, the Sinocyclocheilus species that live aboveground, as well as a few found underground, show no clear cavefish adaptions.[2] They are relatively small fish reaching up to 23 cm (9.1 in) in length.[3] The individual species have small ranges and populations, leading to the status of most of the evaluated species as threatened.[1][2] Many species populations in the genus have yet to be evaluated by the IUCN.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Subfamily: Barbinae
Genus: Sinocyclocheilus
P. W. Fang, 1936
Type species
Sinocyclocheilus tingi
P. W. Fang, 1936

Anchicyclocheilus Li & Lan, 1992
Gibbibarbus Dai, 1988

The type species is S. tingi. The name is derived from the Latin word sino, meaning "from China", and the Greek word kyklos, meaning "circle", and the Greek word cheilos, meaning "lip".[3]


These are the recognized species in this genus.[3] Several others are now considered synonyms. Some taxonomists place the species Sinocyclocheilus jinxiensis to the monotypic genus Pseudosinocyclocheilus,[4] while others continue its placement here.


  1. Ma, L.; and Y.-H. Zhao (2012). Cavefish of China. Pp. 107—125 in: White, W.B.; and D.C. Cuvier, editors. Encyclopedia of Caves. Elsevier. ISBN 9780123838322
  2. Romero; Zhao; and Chen (2009). "The Hypogean fishes of China". Environ Biol Fish. 86: 211–278. doi:10.1007/s10641-009-9441-3.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2016). Species of Sinocyclocheilus in FishBase. January 2016 version.
  4. Zhang, C. & Zhao, Y.-H. (2016). Species Diversity and Distribution of Inland Fishes in China. Science Press. p. 296. ISBN 9787030472106.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  5. Gan, X., Wu, T.-J., Wei, M.-L. & Yang, J. (2013): A new blind barbine species, Sinocyclocheilus anshuiensis sp. nov. (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from Guangxi, China. Archived 2015-10-26 at the Wayback Machine Zoological Research, 34 (5): 459-463.
  6. Li, J., Li, X. & Mayden, R.L. (2014): Sinocyclocheilus brevifinus (Teleostei: Cyprinidae), a new species of cavefish from Guangxi, China. Zootaxa, 3873 (1): 37–48.
  7. Zhu, D.-G. & Zhu, Y. (2012): A new species Sinocyclycheilus flexuosdorsalis (Cypriniformes, Cyprinidae) from Guangxi, China. Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 37 (1): 222-226.
  8. Wang, D., Zhao, Y., Yang, J. & Zhang, C. (2014): A new cavefish species from Southwest China, Sinocyclocheilus gracilicaudatus sp. nov. (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). Zootaxa, 3768 (5): 583–590.
  9. Li, J. & Li, X.-H. (2014): Sinocyclocheilus gracilis, a new species of hypogean fish from Guangxi, South China (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 24 (3): 249-256.
  10. Chen, Y.-Q., Peng, C.-L. & Zhang, E (2016): Sinocyclocheilus guanyangensis, a new species of cavefish from the Li-Jiang basin of Guangxi, China (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 27 (1): 1-8.
  11. Cheng, C., Pan, X., Chen, X., Li, J., Ma, L. & Yang, J. (2015): A new species of the genus Sinocyclocheilus (Teleostei: Cypriniformes), from Jinshajiang Drainage, Yunnan, China. Cave Research, 1 (2): 33-36.
  12. Lan, J., Gan, X., Wu, T. & Yang, J. (2013): Cave Fishes of Guangxi, China. Science Press, Beijing. 1-266.
  13. Li, W.-X. & An, L. (2013): A New Species of Sinocyclocheilus from Kunming,Yunnan —— Sinocyclocheilus wui sp nov. Journal of Jishou University (Natural Science Edition), 34 (1): 82-84.
  14. Pan, X.-F., Li, L., Yang, J.-X. & Chen, X.-Y. (2013): Sinocyclocheilus xichouensis, a new species of golden-line fish from the Red River drainage in Yunnan, China (Teleostei: Cypriniformes). Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine Zoological Research, 34 (4): 368-373.
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