Macrognathus pavo differs from all other Asian mastacembelids by the presence of only 4-6 dorsal-fin spines (vs 11-42).
A characteristic feature of spiny eels is their long snouts or trunks which are highly sensitive and are used to probe around for insects and worms. © Ralf Britz
Macrognathus pavo make alert and attractive aquarium subjects. © Ralf Britz
Macrognathus pavo is only known from this mountain stream, Kyeintali Chaung in the Rakhine Yoma mountain range in western Myanmar. © Ralf Britz
The first images of live individuals of 4 new spiny eels from Myanmar and India identified by Museum scientist Dr Ralf Britz. From the top they are Macrognathus pavo, M. dorsiocellatus, M. obscurus and M. lineatomaculatus. © Photo of M. obscurus courtesy of Ye Hein Htet
First images of 4 new spiny eels | http://t.co/uQoIAY6 via Natural History Museum
Four new spiny eels described: http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=2650
The species of the Macrognathus aculeatus group from Myanmar are reviewed and three new species are described. Macrognathus dorsiocellatus, new species, previously identified as M. aral, is distinguished by rostral tooth plates 19-23, dorsal fin spines 14-22, 7-11 small ocelli along soft dorsal fin, with ventrally open, incomplete white rim; M. obscurus, new species, is distinguished by rostral tooth plates 8-10, dorsal fin spines 20-22, ocelli along dorsal fin developed as small irregularly arranged dark spots or absent, M. pavo, new species, is distinguished by the presence of only 4-6 dorsal-fin spines, only 6-8 rostral tooth plates and details of the colour pattern. In addition, M. lineatomaculatus, new species, is described from India and Nepal and it is distinguished by rostral tooth plates 15-17, dorsal fin spines 19-22, and large black blotches along dorsal fin. The systematic position of M. caudiocellatus is reviewed and the species is retransferred to Mastacembelus.
Britz, R. 2009. Species of the Macrognathus aculeatus group in Myanmar with remarks on M.caudiocellatus (Teleostei: Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. 20: 295-308.