Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal

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Context:

  • Scientists have discovered three new species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal coast in the past few months.

Other facts:

  • Dark brown with white dots on the dorsal side, Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal.
  • The other two species,Gymnothorax visakhaensis (uniformly brown) and Enchelycore propinqua (reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots), were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal.

About eels:

  • Eels are found mostly at the bottom of rivers and seas. Across the world about 1,000 species of eels have been identified.
  • In India, the number is around 125. For species belonging to the family Muraenidae , referred commonly as Moray eels, there are records of about 200 species of which more than 30 species are found in India.

Five new species

  • With these new discoveries, the Bay of Bengal coast has yielded at least five new species of eel.
  • In 2016, Mr. Mohapatra and his team identified Gymnothorax indicus , an edible species.
  • In 2015, a short brown unpatterned moray eel, named Gymnothorax mishrai(Bengal moray eel), was discovered from the coast of Bay of Bengal.
  • The specimens of Gymnothorax pseudotile were collected in a trawl net by fishermen in the northern Bay of Bengal.

Source:TH