|Channa aristonei |
Praveenraj, Thackeray, Singh, Uma, Moulitharan & Mukhim, 2020
A new species of colorful snakehead from Meghalaya, northeastern India is distinguished from all its congeners by possessing a uniform bright blue to bluish-green body, bright-blue dorsal, anal, and caudal fins, submarginally black with white distal margin, series of brown to maroon-red, rounded, oblong or clover-shaped blotches or spots on dorsolateral, postorbital, and ventrolateral region of head, continued on body forming oblique pattern or randomly distributed. The new species superficially resembles C. pardalis and C. bipuli in appearance, but it can be distinguished from both in having brown to maroon-red, rounded, oblong or clover-shaped blotches or spots on head and sides of the body (vs. possession of well-defined, black to brown, rounded to oblong spots), fewer pre-dorsal scales (7 vs. 8–9), more caudal-fin rays (15 vs. 13), and more vertebrae (49 vs. 45). The new species differs from both C. pardalis and C. bipuli by Kimura's two-parameter (K2P) distance of 4.2–4.8 and 4.9–6.0% in the coxI gene sequence. A key to the snakehead Gachua group of the Eastern Himalayan region is provided herein.
|Channa aristonei |
Holotype, BNHS FWF 1017, 136 mm SL
Distribution and habitat.—Known from the streams at Puriang, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya (Fig. 4). The habitat is a clear, slow-flowing hill stream, having rocky substrate, and Eriocaulon sp. as the only aquatic vegetation. The water temperature was 188C at the time of survey. Co-occurring species in the habitat were C. lipor, Danio meghalayensis, and Tor sp.
Etymology.—This species is named after Aristone M. Ryndongsngi from Meghalaya, in recognition of his discovery of this new species and assistance to the authors during the field work.
Jayasimhan Praveenraj, Tejas Thackeray, Sadokpam Gojendro Singh, Arumugam Uma, N. Moulitharan, and Bankit K. Mukhim. 2020. A New Species of Snakehead (Teleostei: Channidae) from East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, Northeastern India. Copeia. 108(4); 938-947. DOI: 10.1643/CI2020007