First record of the fire-eyed loach Barbucca diabolica Roberts, 1989 (Cypriniformes: Barbuccidae) for Belitung Island, Indonesia

Veryl Hasan, Wanda Kusumah, Marta Purnawan, Nasidi, Arianto, Imam Wijaya, Firman Yusnandar, Yohanes Baptista, Josie South, Felipe P. Ottoni

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

1 Citation (Scopus)


Barbuccidae is a Cypriniformes family comprising only one genus, the fire-eyed loaches Barbucca Roberts, 1989, and two species, Barbucca diabolica Roberts, 1989 and Barbucca elongata Vasil’eva & Vasil’ev, 2013, both of which are endemic to southeastern Asia (Fricke et al., 2023a, b; Froese and Pauly, 2023). Barbucca diabolica represents the type species of the genus, based on the type locality of Kapuas River in Borneo (Roberts, 1989; Fricke et al., 2023b). Barbucca diabolica is currently known from the eastern portion of the Malay Peninsula and southwestern portion of Sumatra and Borneo. Specifically from the following main rivers and their tributaries: Golok River (Malaysia and Thailand border); Johor (Malay Peninsular, Malaysia); Kapuas and Mahakam River (Borneo, Indonesia); Bau, Sarawak (Borneo, Malaysia); and Batanghari and Musi Rivers (Sumatra, Indonesia) (Roberts, 1989; Kottelat, 1995; Kottelat and Lim, 1996; Tan and Kottelat, 2009; Lumbantobing, 2019; Fricke et al., 2023b; Froese and Pauly, 2023). The genus was previously considered to be monospecific until the description of the second species: Barbucca elongate, a freshwater fish species only known from Phu Quoc Island, Gulf of Thailand (Vietnam) (Vasil’eva and Vasil’ev, 2013; Fricke et al., 2023b; Froese and Pauly, 2023). Barbucca diabolica is a freshwater fish, usually occurring in small stream and pools located inside forests, in the middle sections of the river systems. The habitats where this species occurs are usually characterized by having turbid slow-flowing water, with leaf-litter substrates (Roberts, 1989; Lumbantobing, 2019). Although, it can also be found in habitats with clear brown-tinted water, with fast flows and sandy bottoms (Roberts, 1989; Lumbantobing, 2019). In general, there is little information available on the ecology of B. diabolica, and the divergent habitat classifications highlight this. Nonetheless, this species is thought to be range restricted to relatively unpolluted streams or water bodies inside forests, suggesting that it is sensitive to environmental degradation (Lumbantobing, 2019). In this paper, we report the first record of B. diabolica for Belitung Island (Indonesia), which is also a record on an additional island for the Sundaland region. In addition, we provide here a detailed and updated map on the geographic distribution of B. diabolica.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-74
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Borneo
  • Distribution range
  • Freshwater fish
  • Life below water
  • Peninsular malaysia
  • sumatra


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