Four new species of freshwater catfish recently discovered in Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala.
All the four species, namely Horabagrus melanosoma, Mystus heoki, Mystus indicus and Mystus menoni were discovered from the Manimala river by Mathews Plamoottil, Assistant Professor in Zoology, Government College, Chavara, and Nelson P. Abraham, Associate Professor, St. Thomas College, Kozhenchery.
The researchers have published their findings in the latest issue of two prominent scientific journals, Biosystematica and the International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology. The International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) has also approved the names given by the researchers to the new species.
Catfish are freshwater, bottom-dwelling fish. Unlike other fish, they have no scales and are smooth skinned. They are known for growing whiskers, called "barbels," at some point during their lifespan. Catfish use their barbels as feelers as they swim along the bottom of the various bodies of water in which they live. There are 2,900 species of catfish worldwide. They range in size from 1.5 to 2 in chesto more than 8 feet in length.
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