New freshwater fish reported from Alappuzha


A new species of freshwater fish collected by an independent researcher from Alappuzha has turned scientific attention on a genus that is being reported from Kerala after a gap of 150 years.

It was on August 20, 2015 that Mathews Plamoottil, Assistant Professor in Zoology, Baby John Memorial Government College, Chavara, collected the new species from a small freshwater stream at Alappuzha. Taxonomic analysis of the specimens revealed that they belonged to the Rasbora genus, a family of aquarium fish.

The new species was named Rasbora ataenia, with the Latin word ataenia referring to the absence of a mid lateral colour band found on the body of fishes in the same genus. The finding has been reported in the latest issue of the International Journal of Innovative Studies in Aquatic Biology and Fisheries.

The fish is characterised by a dorsal fin with seven branched rays, anal fin with five branched rays, slender body and short snout. The colourful species is marked by silvery lateral and ventral sides, blackish green dorsal side and fins in orange, hyaline, yellow and greenish yellow. A faint black dotted line is present on the head from the tip of snout to the gill cover.

India is known to be home to four species of Rasbora, namely R.daniconius, R. rasbora, R. dandia and R. microcephalus. Only one species, Rasbora dandia, has been reported from Kerala. According to Dr. Mathews, even though many surveys and biological studies had been conducted on the Rasbora genus, systematic studies were rare. He feels that many more species of the same genus would be discovered soon.

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Printable version | Nov 21, 2019 9:58:31 PM |

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