|Other Abstract||In the present study, we provided a systematic revision of Chinese species of the nemacheiline stone loach genus Barbatula Linck, 1790 mainly based on the following diagnostic characters: proximity between anterior and posterior nostrials, pelvic-fin position, body squamation, median indentation of the upper lip, snout length and the number of vertebrates. In order to evaluate the validity of the here recognized species, multivariate morphometrics was performed for 29 mesurements obtained from of 197 examined specimens. Based on the results of the above investigations, interspecific relationship of the Chinese species of Barbatula was reconstructed based on cladistics methodology and morphological data. Four loach species, namely Schistura fasciolata, Paracobitis variegata, Triplophysa stoliczkae and T. dalaica were selected as combined outgroups. 45 phylogenetically informative characters, consisting of 41 osteological and 4 external morphological ones, were observed and described. The data matrix was subject to parsimony analysis using the Hennig 86 software in Winclada 1.00 08. The validity of Chinese species of Barbatula here recognized and the monophyletic nature of this genus were evaluated in phylogenetic context. The main conclusions arrived at are as follows:
1. Five species of Barbatula are recognized from China: two described species, B. toni and B. alatyensis, and three new species, i.e., B. anteroventralis sp. nov.，B. gibba sp. nov. and B. oligolepis sp. nov .
2. The available name for Barbatula nuda is B. toni. The type locality of B. nuda is in China, but not in Mongolia. The validity this species needs future study.
3. Barbatula anteroventralis is known from the Amur River drainage, B. gibba is present in the Dali-Nur Lake in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and B. oligolepis occurs in the Tumen River drainage in Jilin Province and Taizi River, a tributary of the Daliao River drainage in Liaoning Province.
4. B. oligolepis and B. altayensis are sister group. The pair is the sister group of the clade including B. toni, B. anteroventralis and B. gibba. B. toni is sister to the pair B. gibba and B. anteroventralis.
5. Triplophysa waisihani forms a monophyletic group with the Chinese species of Barbatula, and it is basal to this group .
6. Triplophysa waisihani and other species of T. labiata group should be referred to Barbatula.
7. Barbatula and Triplophysa is phylogenetically closely associated. The two genera can be distinguished by the following characters: breeding tubercles form a continuous pad along each pectoral-fin ray in Triplophysa, while they are closely spaced, not forming pads in Barbatula.
Barbatula anteroventralis sp.nov.
Holotype. IHB58V0065, 65.5 mm SL, collected from the Emur River, a tributary on southern bank of the Amur River drainage, Mohe county (122°32′E, 52°59′N, about 437m above sea level), Heilongjiang Province.
Paratypes. IHB58V0057–64, IHB58V0066–9, IHB58V0073–6, 16 specimens, 46.2–70.0 mm SL, locality data the same as that of holotype.
Etymology. The specific epithet is made by a combination of the Latin words ‘anterior ’ (anterior), and ‘ventralis’ (ventral or pelvic fin), in allusion to having a pelvic fin inserted anterior to the dorsal-fin origin.
Other materials examined. IHB58VII0085–6, IHB58VII0180, IHB58VII0183, 4 specimens, 59.0–66.2 mm SL, collected from the Argun River drainage; IHB58V0585, 1 specimen, 58.4 mm SL, collected from Heihe county(127°32′E, 50°12′N, 524m above sea level), at southern bank of trunk stream of the Amur river drainage.
Diagnosis. Barbatula anteroventralis can be separated from all other East Asian, Mongolia and Siberian congeners in having anteriorly placed pelvic fins (insertion anterior to the dorsal-fin origin vs. opposite or posterior to the dorsal-fin origin) and a long pectoral fin extending along three-fifths of the length to the pelvic-fin insertion (vs. no more than half). It is similar to B. gibba in having a scaled body posterior to the dorsal-fin origin, by which both can be distinguished from all other congeners (vs. body occasionally scaled in B.compressirostris and fully scaled in other species). Barbatula anteroventralis is further separated from B. gibba in having larger eye (diameter 17.3–23.3% of HL vs. 13.2–17.2), longer maxillary barbel (length 31.4–40.2% of HL vs. 26.3– 31.2), and outer rostral barbel (length 30.3–40.2% of HL vs. 23.1–30.1).
Distribution. Barbatula anteroventralis is to date known from the Emur River, a tributary on southern bank of the Amur River in Heilongjiang Province, the Argun River flowing to the upper Amur River drainage, in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Heihe County, at southern bank of the Amur River drainage in Heilongjiang Province.
Barbatula gibba sp. nov.
Holotype. IHB 76X2566, 70.7 mm SL, collected from the Dali-Nur Lake (116°38′E, 43°17′N, 1226 m above sea level) in Hexigten Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Paratypes. IHB 76X2552–4, IHB 76X2558–9, IHB 76X2562, IHB 76X 2564, IHB 76X2567–8, IHB 76X2574, IHB 76X2576, IHB 76X2584–5, 13specimens, 46.7–75.7 mm SL, other data the same as holotype.
Etymology. The specific epithet is made from the Latin words ‘gibbus’ (humped), referring to a greatly convex dorsal profile of the body.
Diagnosis. Barbatula gibba can be separated from all other East Asian,Mongolia and Siberian congeners by having a nearly columnar (vs. slightly compressed) anterior body, and a greatly convex (vs. a slightly convex or nearly straight) predorsal profile of the body. It is similar to B. anteroventralis in having a scaled body posterior to the dorsal-fin origin, a character separating from all other congeners (vs. body occasionally scaled in B.compressirostris and fully scaled in other species). The main diagnostic characters between the two species are presented in diagnosis of B. anteroventralis.
Distribution. Barbatula gibba is currently known from the Dali-Nur Lake in Hexigten Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Barbatula oligolepis sp.nov.
Holotype. IHB 77VII3478, 73.6 mm SL, collected from a tributary on west bank of the Tumen River at Chongshan Town (129°04′E, 42°05′N, about 454 m above sea level) in Helong County of Jilin Province.
Paratypes. IHB 77VII3477, 77VII3479, 2 specimens, 72.7–79.4 mm SL, locality data the same as holotype.
Other materials. IHB 88V0138, 88V0142, 88V0145–9, 88V0151, 88V0157–62, 16 specimens, 56.6–88.3 mm SL, collected from Taizi River, a tributary flowing to Daliao River drainage, at Liaoyang County (123°13′E, 41°18′N, 34 mm above sea level), Liaoning Province.
Etymology. The specific epithet is made by a combination of the Latin words ‘oligo’ (rare scarce), and ‘lepis’ (scale), in allusion to having a few, scarcely scattered scales on the base of the caudal fin.
Diagnosis. Barbatula oligolepis can be distinguished from all other East Asian, Mongolia and Siberian congeners by having an upper lip with a marked and deep (vs. slight and shallow) median indention, a nearly scaleless body (if present, scaled the caudal-fin base ) (vs. a scaled body), and a nearly straight (vs. convex) predorsal profile of the body. It is similar to B. altayensis and B. sawadai, with which it shares closely set (vs. separately placed) nostrils, but differs from the former in having fewer vertebra (40–42 vs. 44–45) and snout length longer (vs. shorter) than postorbital length, and from the latter in having fewer branched dorsal-fin rays (7 vs. 8), and a scaleless (vs. fully scaled) body.
Distribution. Barbatula oligolepis is known from the Tumen River drainage in Jilin Province and the Taizi River, a tributary of the Daling River drainage in Liaoning Province.|