ZSI finds new species of freshwater fish


  • Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) of India have discovered two new species of freshwater fish from the north-eastern and northern parts of the country.
  • Both fish, measuring less than seven centimetres, are hill stream fauna and are equipped with special morphological features to suit rapid water flow.

Glyptothorax gopii

  • dorsal surface, and its ventral surface is of a yellowish-light brown.
  • It has been named to celebrate the contribution of taxonomist K.C. Gopi.
  • It was discovered from Champai district in Mizoram near the India-Myanmar border in Kaladan river.
  • It has an axe-shaped anterior nuchal plate (bone below dorsal fin), which makes it distinct from other species of the genus
  • The elliptical thoracic adhesive apparatus and plicae (folds of tissue) present on the ventral surfaces of the pectoral-fin spine help the fish cling to rocks.

Garra simbalbaraensis

  • It (measuring 69 mm standard length without caudal fin) has a yellowish-grey colour fading ventrally.
  • It takes its name from the Himachal Pradesh’s Simbalbara river.
  • It has a prominent unilobed and rounded proboscis with tubercles that help the fish in manoeuvrability.

Other species discovered

  • The scientist, who heads the freshwater fish section of ZSI, has earlier discovered four species of Gara (which has an evolved disc to attach to rocky surfaces).
  • The discoveries include Garra compressa in the year 1998, elongata (2000), G. tamangi(2016), and G. chindwinensis (2018).
  • Among catfish (characterised by whiskers), the scientist earlier discovered Myersglanis jayarami (1999), Glyptothorax senapatiensis (2015), and Olya parviocula (2018), all from north-eastern India.


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