A new Mystus catfish from northeastern India

27 Nov, 2019

This 82.2 mm holotype of Mystus prabini is from the Sinkin River at Lower Dibang valley district, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Image reproduced from Darshan et al. 2019.

This 82.2 mm holotype of Mystus prabini is from the Sinkin River at Lower Dibang valley district, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Image reproduced from Darshan et al. 2019.

There is a new catfish known to science! Mystus prabini was formally described this summer by a team of eight scientists in the journal Zootaxa. Similar to nine other currently known Mystus catfish, this small bagrid catfish has a long fleshy adipose fin that stretches to the base of the dorsal fin. Mystus prabini, however, stands out from the others as it exhibits a distinct narrow black mid-lateral band that extends the length of the body from a dark tympanic spot to the round spot at the caudal-fin base. Genetically, its closest known relatives are M. bleekeri and M. albolineatus. Keep an eye out for this fish; perhaps it has already been unknowingly imported into the trade.

Article Abstract

Mystus prabini, a new species, is described from the Sinkin and the Dibang River in the Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The new species differs from all South-Asian congeners except M. bleekeri, M. cavasius, M. zeylanicus, M. falcarius, M. seengtee, M. cineraceus, M. ngasep, M. rufescens and M. ankutta in having a long adipose fin that reaches anteriorly (vs. distinctly does not reach) the base of the last dorsal-fin ray. The new species can be distinguished from the named nine species in having (vs. lacking) a narrow black mid-lateral stripe extending from the anterior region of tympanic spot to the rounded black spot at the caudal fin base. The analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequence shows that the K2P value between Mystus prabini and all other Mystus species ranges from 8.6-22.1%. Mystus prabini is closest genetically to M. bleekeri and M. albolineatus, from which it has a genetic distance of 8.6% and 13.9%, respectively. The genetic distance (K2P) between the new species and M. dibrugarensis is 21.1%.

Reference

Darshan, A., S. Abujam, R. Kumar, J. Parhi, Y.S. Singh, W. Vishwanath, D.N. Das, and P.K. Pandey. 2019. Mystus prabini, a new species of catfish (Siluriformes: Bagridae) from Arunachal Pradesh, north-eastern, India. Zootaxa 4648(3): 511-522.
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4648.3.6

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About the author

Courtney Tobler
Courtney Tobler

Courtney Tobler has a science background and an education that focused on the ecology of freshwater fishes. She is the Deputy Executive Editor for AMAZONAS Magazine and a water chemist for a research site located in the Kansas prairie.

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