The generic name comes from the Greek glyptos, meaning carved, and thorax, meaning breastplate (or the part of the body covered by it), in reference to the folds of skin comprising the thoracic adhesive apparatus.
Sisorid catfishes of the genus Glyptothorax Blyth are benthic inhabitants of torrential waters of rivers and streams in montane and submontane parts of tropical Asia. The members of the genus are adapted to attach themselves to rocks and boulders against strong currents by means of a thoracic adhesive apparatus comprising grooves and folded pleats of skin parallel or oblique to the longitudinal axis of the body. The genus has a wide distribution, ranging from Turkey and Syria in the west, to India and China in the east, and extending further southeastward to Indonesia. With 84 nominal species, Glyptothorax are the most speciose genus of catfishes in Asia (Eschmeyer et al., 1998, Ng, 2005); 67 species were treated as valid by Thomson & Page (2006).