Tuesday, August 9, 2016

[Ichthyology • 2016] Channa aurantipectoralis • A New Species of Snakehead (Teleostei: Channidae) from Mizoram, north-eastern India

Channa aurantipectoralis 
van Lalhlimpuia, Lalronunga & Lalramliana, 2016

Channa aurantipectoralis, a new species of snakehead of the C. gachua species group, is described from Karnaphuli drainage of Mizoram, India. The species is immediately distinguished from all other snakehead species by its unique coloration in life, specifically its brightly-coloured orange pectoral fins, which lack any spots or stripes; and by the presence of a dark V-shaped blotch on the dorsal surface of the head. It can be further distinguished from all other species of the genus by the combination of the following characters: presence of pelvic fins, a large scale on the ventral surface of the lower jaw, 51–64 lateral-line scales, 34–37 dorsal-fin rays, 23–25 anal-fin rays, 13–14 pectoral-fin rays, 5½–6½ /1/ 7½–8½ transverse scale rows, and the absence of scales on the gular region.

Keywords: Pisces, Bangladesh, Barak River drainage, Dampa Tiger Reserve, species distribution, Kaladan River drainage

FIGURE 2. Channa aurantipectoralis, (specimen not preserved), 154 mm SL (approx.); showing coloration in life; lateral and dorsal views. 

Distribution. Presently known only from Seling and Keisalam Rivers (small tributaries of Karnaphuli River) of Dampa Tiger Reserve, Mizoram, India (Fig. 3). The Karnaphuli River, originating from the hills of Mizoram-Tripura border, flows southwest along the Mizoram-Bangladesh border and then through the Chittagong Hill tract of Bangladesh and finally empties into the Bay of Bengal.

Etymology. The species name, aurantipectoralis, is a Latin adjective referring to the conspicuous, orange-coloured pectoral fins of this fish.

Denise van Lalhlimpuia, Samuel Lalronunga and Lalramliana Lalramliana. 2016. Channa aurantipectoralis, A New Species of Snakehead from Mizoram, north-eastern India (Teleostei: Channidae). Zootaxa. 4147(3); 343. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4147.3.7