The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Pangio kuhlii
Pangio kuhlii
(coolie loach)

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Pangio kuhlii (Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1846)

Common name: coolie loach

Synonyms and Other Names: giant coolie loach, leopard eel, prickly eye, striped loach, leopard loach, kuhli loach, Kuhl's loach

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Distinguishing characteristics were given by Sterba (1973), Kottelat and Lim (1993). According to Kottelat et al. (1993), Pangio kuhlii may represent a species complex; commonly used synonyms include Acanthophthalmus kuhli, A. semicinctus, and Pangio semicincta. Illustrations or photographs appeared in Sterba (1973), Axelrod et al. (1985), Kottelat et al. (1993), and Sakurai et al. (1993).

Size: 8 cm (Sterba 1973) to 12 cm TL (Riehl and Baensch 1991)

Native Range: Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Malaysia (Kottelat et al. 1993).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Pangio kuhlii are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL199319931Tampa Bay

Table last updated 6/12/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Probable escape from an ornamental fish farm.

Status: Failed in Florida.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: This species, or species complex, is common in the aquarium trade. It is a nocturnal scavenger. Voucher specimen: Florida (UF 98930).

References: (click for full references)

Axelrod, H. R., W. E. Burgess, N. Pronek, and J. G. Walls. 1985. Dr. Axelrod's atlas of freshwater aquarium fishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

Kottelat, M. and K.K.P. Lim. 1993. A review of the eel-loaches of the genus Pangio (Teleostei: Cobitidae) from the Malay Peninsula, with descriptions of six new species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 41(2): 208-210.

Kottelat, M., A. J. Whitten, S. N. Kartikasari, and S. Wirjoatmodjo. 1993. Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Ltd., Republic of Indonesia. 221 pp. (+ plates).

Rieh. R. and H.A. Baensch. 1991 Aquarien Atlas. Band 1. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur-und Heimtierkunde, Germany. 992 p.

Sterba, G. 1973. Freshwater fishes of the world. English translation and revision from German. Two volumes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Bill Loftus

Revision Date: 7/30/2019

Peer Review Date: 7/26/2012

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Bill Loftus, 2024, Pangio kuhlii (Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1846): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=500, Revision Date: 7/30/2019, Peer Review Date: 7/26/2012, Access Date: 6/13/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/13/2024].

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