Common name: Loaches


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Cite this page as:
Loaches, COBITIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2023,

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Family Taxonomy

The Cobitidae includes about 26 genera and 177 species (Nelson 2006), none of which occurs naturally in Australia. A single species has been introduced into Australia and is treated by Allen et al. (2002).

Family Distribution

The family is native to fresh waters of Eurasia and Morocco

Family Description

Most cobitids have an elongate and highly flexible body, with 3–6 pairs of barbels around the mouth.

Family Size

Maximum size is 40 cm.

Family Commercial

The loaches are popular aquarium fishes.


Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp.

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.