Wednesday, July 10, 2013

[Ichthyology • 1999] Carinotetraodon imitator • a new freshwater pufferfish (Teleostei: Tetraodontiformes) from India

  Carinotetraodon imitator Britz & Kottelat, 1999
(a) live male in normal coloration; (b) in courting coloration with skin keels erected; (c) live female in normal coloration.

Carinotetraodon imitator, new species, a sexually dimorphic freshwater pufferfish, is described from Kerala, India. It has a colour pattern resembling that of Tetraodon travancoricus. The two species differ, however, in details of the colour pattern, in body spination, and the presence of an erectible dorsal and ventral keel of skin in courting males; the latter character assigns the new species to the genus Carinotetraodon. It is distinguished from C. lorteti and C. salivator, by colour pattern of both sexes, body spination, and a maximum size of less than 26 mm standard length which makes C. imitator one of the smallest known pufferfishes. The keels have not been observed in T. travancoricus but this species is hypothesized to belong to Carinotetraodon on the basis of osteological characters.

Key words: Tetraodontidae, Carinotetraodon, sexual dimorphism, skin keels

Britz, R. & Kottelat, M., 1999. Carinotetraodon imitator, a new freshwater pufferfish from India (Teleostei: Tetraodontiformes). Journal of South Asian Natural History. 4 (1): 39-47.