Cirrhinus microlepis Sauvage, 1878
Small scale mud carp
photo by Roberts, T.R.

Family:  Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps), subfamily: Labeoninae
Max. size:  65 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 5,000.0 g
Environment:  benthopelagic, potamodromous
Distribution:  Asia: Chao Phraya and Mekong basins in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-16; Vertebrae: 40-40. Distinguished from other species of the genus in the area by its count of lateral line scales: 53-60 (Ref. 27732). A large species with very small scales, no barbels, and distinctive coloration. Juveniles silvery with red caudal fin, larger fish with head and body violaceous, rosy, or bluish and caudal fin dusky (Ref. 33488)
Biology:  Inhabits large rivers and lowland floodplains (Ref. 12693). Occurs in riffle and deep slow reaches (Ref. 37769). Moves out into the flooded forest where it feeds on leafy plant matter, phytoplankton and insects (Ref. 12693). Migration pattern is markedly different above and below the Khone Falls in the Mekong basin. Below the falls, it makes an upstream migration from Phnom Penh to the Khone Falls between November and February, consisting mainly of sub-adults of sizes 10 to 50 cm. From April to July, it migrates in the opposite direction, from Khone Falls and downstream, constituting mainly of sub-adults up to about 50 cm (Ref. 37770). Above the Khone Falls, from Klong Kaem District, Ubolratchatani in Thailand, fish migrates upstream in February; at Khemmaratch further upstream in Ubolratchatani, it moves upstream in March-April; and at Mukdahan, it goes upstream in May. However, it migrates downstream at Klong Kaem in June-July (Ref. 37770). Only downstream migrations are reported in the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam, constituting mainly of juveniles (2-20 cm), with the smallest fish mainly in June-July and fish between 10 and 20 mainly from September to November (Ref. 37770). From Xayabouri in Laos to Chiang Saen in Thailand, upstream migrations take place from March to August. This appears to be two distinct migrations: one of sub-adults measuring 15-50 cm during March-April and another one of larger fishes of sizes 40 to 90 cm during June-July (Ref. 37770). Not known to persist in impoundments. Individuals caught with dais or traps are often immediately kept alive in fish cages for future sale. Marketed fresh and sometimes dried and salted (Ref. 12693). Known to reach up to 15 kg in Thailand (Jean-Francois, pers. comm. 11/02).
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (VU); Date assessed: 17 February 2011 (A2ade) Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Torres, Armi G. - 21.06.97
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 19.11.02
Checked by: Torres, Armi G. - 08.08.01

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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