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Carps Minnows and Relatives: Cypriniformes

Clown Loach (botia Macracanthus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Clown loaches have a deep body that is orange with three black stripes. They reach a maximum length of 12 inches (30 centimeters).

Geographic range: Clown loaches live in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Habitat: Clown loaches live near the bottom of streams.

Diet: Clown loaches feed on bottom-dwelling algae, weeds, worms, and crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns), water-dwelling animals that have jointed legs and a hard shell but no backbone.

Clown loaches are popular aquarium fishes. (Illustration by Bruce Worden. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: Clown loaches are not aggressive and spend most of their time at the bottom among plants. Clown loaches breed only at the beginning of the rainy season and do so in fast-flowing rivers.

Clown loaches and people: Clown loaches are popular aquarium fishes. They sometimes are eaten.

Conservation status: Clown loaches are not threatened or endangered. ∎



Berra, T. M. Freshwater Fish Distribution. San Diego: Academic Press, 2001.

Gilbert, Carter Rowell, and James D. Williams. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Fishes: North America. New York: Knopf, 2002.

Schultz, Ken. Ken Schultz's Field Guide to Freshwater Fish. New York: Wiley, 2004.

Web sites:

"Cypriniform." All Science Fair Projects. http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/science_fair_projects_encyclopedia/Cypriniform (accessed on September 24, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesCarps Minnows and Relatives: Cypriniformes - Behavior And Reproduction, Minnow, Carps, And Loaches And Their Relatives And People, Conservation Status - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET