Clown loaches have spines?

Jan 25, 2004
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#1
All loaches possess very sharp, bony spines behind their eyes that they can unfold and use to warn off other fish (and the occasional fish keeper who insists on taking them to shows).
I was on the Loaches Online website, and a person said that it's clown loach had spikes sticking out of them:

I came back about 15 minutes later and he was dead with a boney spike about 1/3" long sticking out of the left side of his head, right near the eye. I have no idea what that is, or where it came from. There is nothing in the tank he could have jabbed himself on, and it looks like whatever it was went out rather than going into his skin...I'm guessing that's what the problem is, but what is it???
And the next post said:
Clown loaches have spines on the sides of their heads. They extend them when in distress so it's not a surprise that in its last horrified moments of its life it would do that.
Does anyone have a picture of this? I never knew this could happen, and I'm kinda interesed on what it looks like/why it happens.

Thanks!
 

Leopardess

Superstar Fish
#2
I believe it is called a sub-ocular (meaning below the eye) bifid spine.

http://centralpets.com/pages/critterpages/fish/freshwater_fish/FWF4583.shtml :

"Also, Clown Loaches have a sub-ocular spine the protrudes from beneath the eye, therefore when using a net to catch a Clown Loach, you should be careful not to allow this spine to caught on the net."

http://www.aqualink.com/columns/k-loach1.html :

"A word of caution when purchasing these fish is to make sure that they are double bagged for the trip home. Being from the genus Botia these fish have a movable spine under each eye that is razor sharp. Care should also be taken when netting because if the spine should become entangled in the net, the fish can be injured. "

http://www.loaches.com/species_pages/botia_sidthimunki.html :

"The spines in front of the eyes, which occur in all loaches, are raised when the fish is excited or threatened. The spines may get caught in the meshees of a net when the fish is being moved form one tank to another. It is important to disentangle the fish very gently. Also, take great care to avoid the sharp spines, which can cause painful wounds to the hands."
 

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Fruitbat

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Jan 6, 2004
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#4
victimizati0n...

I'd say that the spines that Leopardess posted about are EXACTLY what your friend was talking about. The spines on loaches can be rather formidable. It is not at all uncommon for loaches in their death throes to extend these spines (which most aquarists never see).
 

420Loach

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May 26, 2003
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#7
ever see how clown loaches(most botias in fact) fight when establishing the pecking order? i think they use them in the little spin tango they do as well as to ward off other fish.

ive been jabbed in the hand alot(mostly picking up a loach that jumps out of the net/tank, hurts like a s.o.b. on the bigger loaches.
 

Jan 25, 2004
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#17