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New Species of Catfish Discovered in India

Feb 24, 2013 04:06 AM EST

A new species of catfish under the genus Pseudolaguvia was discovered in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

A team of researchers including amateur naturalist Lakpa Tamang and professor D.N. Das from Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) found the new fish species in the Sille River, in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The new species has been named Pseudolaguvia Viriosa.

With this new discovery, the total number of catfish under the genus Pseudolaguvia has been increased to 15 across the globe. Pseudolaguvia is a genus of South Asian river catfish. Members of this genus belong to the family of Sisoridae.

"They inhabit hill streams and large rivers in the area bordered by the Ganges River drainage (northern India) to the west and the Sittang River drainage (east-central Myanmar) to the east," according to a report in the Times of India newspaper. The new species is the first under the Pseudolaguvia genus to have been found in the upper Brahmaputra river drainage system. Brahmaputra is one of the major rivers in Asia.

The specimen has been deposited at the Zoological Survey of India, Itanagar, and the RGU museum. Amateur naturalist Tamang had already discovered two new species of catfish - Erethistoides Senkhiensis and Glyptothorax Dikrongensis - two years ago. Last December, researchers discovered a new species of blind catfish, with a unique red blood color, in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The species was named Horaglanis abdulkalami, in honor of the former president of India - Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. 

The details of the discovery are published in the New Zealand-based journal Zootaxa.

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