name = Cavefishes

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Northern cavefish, "Amblyopsis spelaea"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Actinopterygii
ordo = Percopsiformes
familia = Amblyopsidae
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Amblyopsis" "Chologaster" "Forbesichthys" "Speoplatyrhinus" "Typhlichthys" See text for species.

The cavefishes (commonly: "blindfishes", "swampfishes") are found in caves and adapted to life in the dark, notably lacking eyes and pigmentation, as a result having a pale or whitish color. They are found all over the world. There are more than 80 known varieties of cavefish. Cavefishes are generally small, ranging up to 2.5 cm in length. Most do not have pelvic fins, although "Amblyopsis spelaea" has small ones with up to six rays. Only three species of cave fish lack eyes completely, but several others have useless eyes. The majority of cave fish have little to no pigment in their skin. These features are an example of regressive evolution.

Cavefishes can only be found in caves that have streams running "into" them; a cave with no inlets (such as Blanchard Springs Caverns in Arkansas) will not contain cavefishes. They are believed to have been evolved from their aboveground counterparts.


The family includes six species in five genera:

* Genus "Amblyopsis
* Genus "Typhlichthys"
** Southern cavefish, "Typhlichthys subterraneus" Girard, 1859.
* Genus "Chologaster"
* Genus "Forbesichthys"
* Genus "Speoplatyrhinus"

External links


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