Andhra Pradesh

New edible freshwater fish discovered in Andhra Pradesh

It has been named after the Alluri forest of the Eastern Ghats in Visakhapatnam district, where it was found

Scientists have discovered a new species of freshwater fish from the Alluri forest of the Eastern Ghats in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. The species, small in size, has been named Parapsilorhynchus alluriensis, in recognition of the Alluri forest, where it was found. The specimens were collected from the Dharamattam waterfall, with details published in the peer reviewed journal Zootaxa earlier this month.

“The freshwater fish is small in size, measuring between 35 mm to 45mm. The colour of the species is dark grey, ventral surface uniformly cream white. Dorsal fin of the fish bears a yellowish tinge and a distinct oblique black bar near its free margin,” S. S. Jadhav, one of the scientists behind the discovery, said.

The specimens were collected by M. Karuthapandi from the waterfall in November 2018 and the fish was later described by Dr. Jadhav, who is associated with the Freshwater Biology Regional Centre (FBRC), Zoological Survey of India, Hyderabad.

Endemic to India

The discovery is interesting because the species belonging to genus Parapsilorhynchus is endemic to India, particularly peninsular India. Parapsilorhynchus alluriensis is the seventh species of genus Parapsilorhynchus,

Two other species of the genus P. odishaensis and P. swaini were discovered in 2017 from Odisha. This discovery makes for three species to have been found in the Eastern Ghats, and the first to be discovered in Andhra Pradesh.

Four other species of the genus (P. tentaculatus, P. discophorus, P. prateri and P. elongatus) were discovered from the Western Ghats, all in Maharashtra.

P. tentaculatus was discovered in 1921 by Thomas Nelson Annadale, the Scottish botanist and founder of ZSI.

‘Unique features’

According to scientists, many of the earlier discovered species are found in the local markets of Maharashtra, and are consumed by locals. Deepa Jaiswali, In-Charge of FRBC and among the scientists behind the discovery, said that like other species of the genus Parapsilorhynchus, the species Parapsilorhynchus alluriensis is also edible.

“The fish has unique morphological features that allow it to thrive well in clear hill streams with rapid currents,” she added.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 6:22:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/new-edible-freshwater-fish-discovered-in-andhra-pradesh/article31114933.ece

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