New fish species discovered in Kerala

| Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 12:45
First Published |

New fish species discovered in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: A new cyprinid fish, Puntius Dolichopterus has been discovered in Kerala's Kayamkulam city, a media report said.

The new fish species has been discovered, named and described by Mathews Plamoottil, head of the department of zoology, Baby John Memorial Government College, near Kollam city, according to the latest issue of 'International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology'.

The new freshwater fish was collected from a small water stream flowing in the heart of Alappuzha district's Kayamkulam city.

"It is characterised by the longer pectoral fin, shorter dorsal fin, unusually elongated dorsal spine, longer head, lesser number of lateral line scales and pre-dorsal scales. It can be further differentiated from its relative species in having 3-4 longitudinal lines present below lateral line," said Plamoottil.

The name of the new fish "dolichopterus" has been coined from two Greek words 'dolikhos' meaning elongated and 'pteron' meaning wing or fin, as refers to elongated pectoral fin.

Describing the new fish, Plamoottil said the body is silvery, dorsal fin is light orange red, pectoral and anal fin greenish yellow, ventral fin yellow, caudal fin dusky and an inconspicuous dusky spot present on 21 and 22 scales.

The spine of dorsal fin in this fish is rigid, strong and long. They have a pair of small barbels. They are between 7.3 and 8.7 cm in length.

The fish, found in small and shallow water channels, is edible and can be utilised as ornamental fish. The fish is included in the fish family Cyprinidae.

Its congeners (relative species) are Puntius nigronotus, Puntius viridis, Puntius nelsoni and Puntius parrah found in Kerala, Puntius dorsalis found in Chennai and Puntius chola and Puntius sophore residing in the water bodies of the Ganga river.

"All these fish were compared and examined for proving the identity of this new fish. This new barb has received Zoo bank register number from International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature, the official body approving the new names of animals. 

"Six specimens of this new fish have been deposited in the Government Museum (Zoological Survey of India) at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands," said Plamoottil. 

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