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New fish species discovered in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, A new cyprinid fish, Puntius Dolichopterus has been discovered in Kerala’s Kayamkulam city, a media report said.

picture from- www.thehansindia.com
picture from- www.thehansindia.com

The new fish species has been discovered, named and described by Mathews Plamoottil, head of the department of zoology, Baby John Memorial Government College, near Kollam city, according to the latest issue of ‘International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology’.

The new freshwater fish was collected from a small water stream flowing in the heart of Alappuzha district’s Kayamkulam city.

“It is characterised by the longer pectoral fin, shorter dorsal fin, unusually elongated dorsal spine, longer head, lesser number of lateral line scales and pre-dorsal scales. It can be further differentiated from its relative species in having 3-4 longitudinal lines present below lateral line,” said Plamoottil.

The name of the new fish “dolichopterus” has been coined from two Greek words ‘dolikhos’ meaning elongated and ‘pteron’ meaning wing or fin, as refers to elongated pectoral fin.

Describing the new fish, Plamoottil said the body is silvery, dorsal fin is light orange red, pectoral and anal fin greenish yellow, ventral fin yellow, caudal fin dusky and an inconspicuous dusky spot present on 21 and 22 scales.

The spine of dorsal fin in this fish is rigid, strong and long. They have a pair of small barbels. They are between 7.3 and 8.7 cm in length.

The fish, found in small and shallow water channels, is edible and can be utilised as ornamental fish. The fish is included in the fish family Cyprinidae.

Its congeners (relative species) are Puntius nigronotus, Puntius viridis, Puntius nelsoni and Puntius parrah found in Kerala, Puntius dorsalis found in Chennai and Puntius chola and Puntius sophore residing in the water bodies of the Ganga river.

“All these fish were compared and examined for proving the identity of this new fish. This new barb has received Zoo bank register number from International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature, the official body approving the new names of animals.

“Six specimens of this new fish have been deposited in the Government Museum (Zoological Survey of India) at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” said Plamoottil.

(IANS)

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Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak In Kerala

At least 13 people died and more than 2,000 were kept under observation when the virus struck in May

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Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak In Kerala
Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak In Kerala. (IANS)

Fruit bats were the source of Nipah virus which created havoc in Kerala’s Kozhikode in May according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an official said on Tuesday.

Kerala Health Secretary Rajiv Sadanandan said that tests of the first batch of 21 bats were were negative, but the second set of tests done on 55 fruit bats from Kozhikode confirmed that the nocturnal mammals were behind the spread.

Sadanandan told IANS that Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda on Tuesday confirmed the latest test results.

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At least 13 people died and more than 2,000 were kept under observation when the virus struck in May. Most of them were from Kozhikode district and some from Malappuram.

Even when the final green signal came from Kerala health authorities that the fear of the spread has been contained, the source of the virus outbreak was yet to be ascertained.

The ICMR is the country’s premier body engaged in formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research. (IANS)

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