Thiruvananthapuram | Four new cyprinid fish species have been discovered from Malabar and Travancore regions of Kerala. These new comers of the scientific world have been named as Puntius nelsoni, Puntius nigronotus, Systomus chryseus and Systomus rufus. Detailed articles describing these new species have been published in the latest issue of the international Scientific Journals entitled ‘Journal of Research in Biology’ and ‘International Journal of Fauna and Biological Studies’.
These new fishes were discovered, named and described by Professor Mathews Plamoottil, resident of Thadathilal, Mavelikkara and Head of the Zoology Department, Baby John Memorial Government College, Chavara, Kollam.
The body and fins of Puntius nelsoni are yellowish in colour; their head is deeper, snout is shorter and mouth gape is wider. They have an elongated black band outer to operculum and a spindle shaped mark on the occiput. These fishes were discovered from Kallumkal of Thiruvalla, the place where Pamba and Manimala Rivers merge. Puntius nelsoni is named after Prof. Dr. Nelson P. Abraham of St. Thomas college, Kozhencherry.
Puntius nigronotus was discovered from Mananthavady of Wayanad. Its dorsal fin is black colored; lateral line scales are more than its closest relatives and its dorsal fin also has more rays. The species name ‘nigronotus’ has been taken from Greek language; in Greek ‘nigronotus’ means ‘with black colored dorsal side’.
Systomus chryseus was discovered from Keezhvaipur, a place nearer to Mallappally. It is unusually elongated and is golden colored; its pectoral fin is greatly elongated. The species name ‘ chryseus’ is a Latin word meaning ‘golden colored’.
Systomus rufus was discovered from Venpala, a place nearer to Thiruvalla. Its body is unusually deep and fins are red in color. Species name ‘rufus’ was taken from Latin language meaning ‘red coloured’.
It is interesting to note that a new species of the genus Systomus is being discovered after one and a half century from Kerala. For conducting detailed analysis a lot of fishes found in various water bodies of Kerala were examined. Fishes deposited in Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata and other reputed museums were also examined.
All the above four new fishes have been received Zoo bank register number from International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature, the world wide scientific authority for naming new animals. The new fishes have been deposited in the Government museum of ZSI at Kolkata and Kozhikode.
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