The gill area to body weight relationship of two species of loach, Noemacheilus barbatuhu (L.) and Cobitis taenia (L.) was measured. It was found that the secondary lamellar area and the total length of the gill filaments were independently related to the lengths of the fish in each of the species. Both these measurements were similar in the two species. The number of secondary lamellae per mm of gill filament was independent of fish length, and was greater in C. taenia than in N. barbatuhu (45.5 and 36.4 respectively), being the main factor for the far greater total gill area/g calculated for C. taenia than for N. barbatuhis (507.9 and 316 mm2/g respectively). These gill area measurements are, in general, higher than those of other freshwater fish. It is suggested that this is related to the sedentary burrowing habits of the two species.

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