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Chapter: The Diversity of Fishes: Biology, Evolution, and Ecology: Zoogeography

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Oriental region Freshwater Fishes

The Oriental region includes India, southern China, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the East Indies out to Borneo and Bali (Fig. 16.12). Alfred Russel Wallace (1860, 1876)

Oriental region

The Oriental region includes India, southern China, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the East Indies out to Borneo and Bali (Fig. 16.12). Alfred Russel Wallace (1860, 1876) proposed a boundary between the Oriental and Australian faunas that Thomas Huxley named for him as Wallace’s Line.

 

 

 Some authors extend the line even farther to the east (Weber’s Line) to also include the Celebes (now Sulawesi) and some other Indonesian Islands in the Oriental region. The region contains 28 families of primary freshwater fishes with 12 families of catfishes and four families of cypriniform ostariophysans: minnows (Cyprinidae), loaches (Cobitidae), algae eaters (Gyrinocheilidae), and river loa - ches (Balitoridae), which are endemic to the region. Nonostariophysan families include snakeheads (Channidae), spiny eels (Mastacembelidae), labyrinth fishes (Anabantoidei), and a few cichlids. Only two species of primary freshwater fishes occur east of Wallace’s Line. All other fishes in fresh waters east of the line have been derived from marine groups, such as the catfishes and rainbowfishes.


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