| Sperata in India|
DNA barcode data of the South Asian bagrid catfish genus Sperata indicate the presence of at least five species in the Indian subcontinent. Those results, which are supported by morphological data, show a marked increase in species diversity from the recent taxonomic and fishery literature, although each of the five species had been previously named. Two species are restricted to rivers of peninsular India south of the Godavari: Sperata aorides from the Cauvery river basin and S. seenghala from the Krishna river basin. Most literature records of S. seenghala from the Ganges‐Brahmaputra‐Meghna river basins likely refer to S. lamarrii, a species which appears to also be present in the Indus river basin. Some genetic data reported as S. seenghala from the Ganges‐Brahmaputra‐Meghna river basins refer to S. aorella. S. aor is widespread in the Ganges‐Brahmaputra‐Surma river basins in India and Bangladesh, extending southwards to the Godavari river.
Keywords: Cauvery, fisheries, Ganges, ichthyology, Krishna, taxonomy, zoogeography
Sperata aorides (Jerdon)
Sperata lamarrii (Valenciennes)
Sperata seenghala (Sykes)
Sperata aor (Hamilton)
Sperata aorella (Blyth)
The results of our investigation suggest there are at least five valid species of Sperata in the Indian subcontinent. S. aorides is endemic to the Cauvery river basin and S. seenghala is probably endemic to the Krishna river basin. Records of S. seenghala from the Ganges‐Brahmaputra‐Meghna river basins likely refer to S. lamarrii, a species which appears to also be present in the Indus river basin. Additionally, some reports of S. seenghala from the Ganges‐Brahmaputra‐Meghna river basins definitely refer to S. aorella. Neither S. lamarrii nor S. aor appear to be present in peninsular India south of the Godavari, and investigations into reports of S. aor and S. seenghala from river basins removed from their original descriptions may yield additional species. Proper taxonomic identification of species within the genus is critical given the importance of this genus to fisheries and attempts to introduce them to aquaculture.