Thursday, March 31, 2016

[Ichthyology • 2016] Channa pardalis • A New Species of Snakehead (Teleostei: Channidae) from Meghalaya, northeastern India


a, Channa pardalis Knight, 2016;
b, Channa stewartii (Playfair, 1867); d, C. melanostigma Geetakumari & Vishwanath, 2011

Abstract
 Channa pardalis, a new species of snakehead, is described from Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, northeastern India. This species can be distinguished from its congeners by a unique colour pattern consisting of numerous large black spots on the post-orbital region of the head, opercle and body; a broad white and black margin to the dorsal, anal and caudal fins; 36–37 dorsal fin rays; 24–25 anal fin rays; 44–45 pored scales on the body and two scales on the caudal fin base; 4½ scales above lateral line and 6½ scales below lateral line; 45 vertebrae and the palatine with two rows of teeth: outer row with numerous minute teeth and inner row with short, stout inward curved teeth.

Keywords: Channa melanostigma, Channa sterwartii, eastern Himalaya, northeastern India, taxonomy.

Image 2. Channa pardalis: A, paratype, ZSI/SRC F 8954, 139.3mm SL, showing live colouration, West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya.
C. stewartii: MKC 100, Cachar, Assam, B, 109.2mm SL, showing live colouration, C, 128.6mm SL, showing colouration in preservative.
 C. melanostigma: MKC 012, Tinsukia, Assam, D, 118.1mm SL showing live colouration, E, 122.9mm SL, showing colouration in preservative.

Channa pardalis sp. nov.
(Image 1, 2A)
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:394A6CAB-1802-48FF-AD89-5264F466474B
  
Holotype: BNHS FWF 181, 127.5mm SL; streams in Nongstoin (25.520N & 91.270E; ~1,400m), West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India, coll. A. Rao, December 2012.
Paratypes: BNHS FWF 182, 141.1mm SL; ZSI/SRC F 8954, 139.3mm SL, Collection information same as holotype.
Additional material: MKC 429, 102.1mm SL; MKC 437, 114.2mm SL, both the specimens were cleared and stained for osteology. Collection information same as holotype.
Diagnosis: Channa pardalis sp. nov. is diagnosed from all other species of Channa in having a unique colour pattern consisting of numerous large black spots on the post-orbital region of the head, opercle and body; a broad white and black margin to the dorsal fin, anal fin and caudal fin; 36–37 dorsal fin rays; 24–25 anal fin rays; 44–45 pored scales on the body and two scales on the caudal fin base; 4½ scales above lateral line and 6½ scales below lateral line; 45 vertebrae and the palatine with two rows of teeth: outer row with numerous minute teeth and inner row with short, stout inward curved teeth.

Etymology: The specific epithet ‘pardalis’ is a Latin adjective meaning ‘Leopard’ referring to the conspicuous spots the species has, similar to a leopard.
Distribution: Channa pardalis sp. nov. is currently known only from the Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, northeastern India.
Note: Channa pardalis sp. nov. is known in the ornamental fish trade as Channa sp. Meghalaya leopard.

J.D. Marcus Knight. 2016. Channa pardalis, A New Species of Snakehead (Teleostei: Channidae) from Meghalaya, northeastern India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 8(3): 8583–8589


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