Four new fish species named Puntius nelsoni, Puntius nigronotus, Systomus chryseusand and Systomus rufus were discovered in Kerala. The findings were published in the journal International Journal of Fauna and Biological Studies in the last week of January 2015.
The fishes were discovered by Mathews Plamoottil, a zoology professor at Baby John Memorial Government College in Kollam.
These new fishes have been deposited in the museum of the Zoological Survey of India at Kolkata and Kozhikode.
The freshwater fishes in the Madduvalasa Reservoir were studied from January 2014 to June 2014. The samples were collected monthly with the help of local fishermen by using fishing nets. The fishes were examined for their colour bands or spots present on the body.
A total of 22 species of fishes belonging to 5 orders were recorded during the study. These orders were Cypriniformes with 10 species, Siluriformes with 6 species, Perciformes with 4 species, Anguilliformes with 1 species and osteoglossiformes with 1 species.
The standard identification keys were used for identification of specimens up to species level.
Four new Fish species
1. Puntius Nelson: The body and fins of this fish are yellowish in colour. Its head is deeper, the snout is shorter and the mouth is wider. It was discovered at Kallumkal in Thiruvalla at the place where Pamba and Manimala rivers merge.
2. Puntius Nigronotus: It has dorsal fin and has more rays. It is black in colour. Its lateral line scales are greater than its closest relatives. It was discovered at Mananthavady in the hilly Wayanad district.
3. Systomus Chryseus: It is golden in colour and its pectoral fin is elongated one. It was discovered at Keezhvaipur near Thiruvalla.
4. Systomus Rufus: Its fins are red in colour. It was discovered at Venpala near Thiruvalla district.
All the four new species have received a Zoo bank register number from the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature, the worldwide scientific authority for naming new animals.