Morphology Data of Malihkaia aligera
Identification keys
Main Ref. Kottelat, M., 2017
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance always different morphology between mature adults
Different colors
Remarks Males differ from females by the following characters: suborbital flap present (vs. neither suborbital flap nor suborbital slit in females); pectoral fin strongly falcate (vs. rounded in females); unbranched and first branched rays rigid, arched and curled upwards; first branched ray about 5 times wider than other branched rays, flattened dorso-ventrally, reaching beyond pelvic-fin base; absence of membrane between the branches and all sub-branches; second branched ray slender, branched only at tip, membrane between branches very narrow.

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features
Body shape lateral
Cross section
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth
Type of scales

Malihkaia is diagnosed from all genera of nemacheilids by the unique morphology of the lips and the unique pectoral fin sexual dimorphism. Lips are characterized by the following traits: : thick, consting of numerous, closely set, deep furrows; upper lip with a small median notch, transverse furrows on its whole length, edge crenulated; lower lip with a median interruption, transverse furrows on its whole length, edge crenulated. Pectoral fin is strongly falcate in males, greatly elongated as a ‘wing’, rigid and curled, with the first branched ray the longest, and with all branches and sub-branches adjacent and absence of membranes between them. Other diagnostic characters include the following: presence of processus dentiformis; presence of suborbital flap present in males; dorsal fin with 8½ branched rays; caudal fin with 9+8 branched rays; presence of axillary pelvic lobe; anus situated about 1.5-2 eye diameter in front of anal fin; body entirely scaled; lateral line complete; air bladder without posterior chamber; body with 9-12 bars extending from dorsal midline to level of pectoral fin, bars of quite regular width and shape in front of dorsal fin, less regular posteriorly, much wider than interspaces; and black mark at caudal-fin base made of a more or less squarish blotch in middle of base, a more or less triangular blotch over dorsal procurrent rays, fainter pigments over base of uppermost and lowermost 4-6 principal rays of caudal fin (Ref. 116725).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Malihkaia aligera

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales 89 - 99
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total
Soft-rays total 12 - 12
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes forked

Anal fin(s)

Fins number
Spines total
Soft-rays total 8 - 8

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  
Soft-rays   11 - 11
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  behind origin of D1
Soft-rays   7 - 8
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Torres, Armi G.
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