Why Is It Called Bony-Eared Assfish?

Have you heard of a fish called the bony-eared assfish? This rare fish has an interesting name that has caught the attention of many.

Its scientific name is Anoplarchus purpurescens, and it can be found in the Pacific Ocean near California. But why is it called bony-eared assfish? In this article, we’ll explore the possible reasons for why the fish has earned this unique and rather humorous name.

We’ll also discuss the physical features and behaviors of the fish that make it so unique. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of why this mysterious fish is called the bony-eared assfish!

Why is it Called Bony-Eared Assfish?

Often referred to as “Boxy”, the bony-eared assfish (in scientific terminology, Arkyoglanis kotlangensis) is a species of fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae. It is an endemic freshwater species found in the River Kotlang, in the District of Lakhimpur in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

It is also known as the Kotlang spiny loachy. The fishes have elongated and spiny dorsal and ventral fins, and the first dorsal fin spine is relatively longer than all other fins.

The fish has a long and slender body, humped back, narrow snout and a prominent mid eye that gives it its peculiar character.

Assfish or Boxy Fish

The name ‘assfish’ or ‘boxy fish’ comes from the peculiar set of jawbones on the species which look like an ass’s ears. The pointed jawbones are clearly visible, as is a large black spot on the lower jaw, which helps to identify the fish from other species.

The Body Features

The body of the bony-eared assfish is quite robust and can reach up to 7 cm in total length. The fish possess three pairs of barbels at its mouth, the longest of which is 1

6 mm long. The head of the bony-eared assfish has a high convex profile, large eyes, a short and blunt snout and a wide mouth. The body is covered with many small scales, which gives it a rather shapeless appearance.

The males of the species have a loger dorsal fin, as well as longer pelvic and anal fins.

Adaptations to its Environment

The bony-eared assfish can tolerate a wide range of temperatures from 4-24°C.

This is quite advantageous for its survival in the waters of the River Kotlang, since this is the range that is most suitable for the survival of many organisms in the river. The diet of the bony-eared assfish primarily comprises of algae, aquatic insects and other small invertebrates. The small size of the fish and its slow swimming ability allow it to survive in areas with limited oxygen levels.

Significant Difference from Other Species

Other species of the genus Arkyoglanis are only found in Bhutan and northern Myanmar. The morphology of the bony-eared assfish is different from those of other species belonging to the same family in the sense that the first dorsal fin spine is relatively longer than other fins.

Conservation Status

The bony-eared assfish is a critically endangered species, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The main threats to the species’ survival are habitat loss, fragmentation and over-exploitation.


The bony-eared assfish is an endemic species found in the River Kotlang in the District of Lakhimpur, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The primary reason why it is called the bony-eared assfish is due to its peculiar set of jawbones that look like an ass’s ears. The species has adapted well to its environment, but unfortunately it is critically endangered, with habitat loss and over-exploitation being the primary threats to its survival. Citation URL: https://www. fishbase. in/Summary/SpeciesSummary. php?ID=79112&genusname=Arkyoglanis&speciesname=kotlangensishttps://www. iucnredlist. org/species/193295/15474864#geographic-range

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