Kissing Loach

East Asia


Parabotia curtus

Critically Endangered

  • Habitat loss due to agricultural development
  • Water pollution
  • Light and noise pollution
  • Predation by introduced species

The Kissing Loach, a ray-finned fish species from the Botiidae family, is endemic to Japan. Locally named Ayumodoki, it can only be found in a few lakes, rivers, and streams in Honshu, Kyoto, and Okayama.

Because such natural environments are already destroyed, polluted or inhabited by other species, its spawning grounds are ditches, paddy fields, and flooded areas over terrestrial vegetation. A submerged land is crucial for successful spawning.

The Kissing Loach produces demersal (pertaining to the bottom part of the ground) adhesive eggs which will hatch after 25 hours. Maturity is at two years of age and lifespan is between 2 and 3 years. Improvement projects in agricultural lands have led to loss of spawning grounds. The use of chemical insecticide and herbicide has seriously affected the ecosystem of the paddy fields which is not ideal for population growth of the Kissing Loach. Light and noise pollution also reduces the suitability of habitat as well as predation by the Largemouth Bass and the Great Cormorant.