A ‘Dario urops' specimen. It was collected in Wayanad 130 years ago, but was wrongly identified.
Researchers have discovered a new species of badid fish ‘Dario urops' from the Barapole tributary of the Valapattanam river in the Western Ghats.
A research team consisting of Ralf Britz from the Natural History Museum, London; Anvar Ali from the Conservation Research Group at St. Albert's College, Kochi; and Siby Philip from the University of Porto, Portugal; found the species from an unnamed steam which connects the Barapole tributary in southern Karnataka. The results of the study were published in the recent issue of the international taxonomy journal Zootaxa . Anvar Ali, one of the authors, told The Hindu that the new species measured a maximum up to 3 cm, and had a background colour of yellowish beige with bluish-gray hued fins.
“This species was first collected from Wayanad by British zoologist Francis Day more than 130 years ago. However, it was wrongly identified in his monographs on Indian fishes. Nikhil Sood, a Bangalore-based aquarist and his Swiss friend Benjamin Harink were the first to discover the spot from where ‘Dario urops' was collected,” Mr. Ali said.
He said that this was a significant discovery from a biogeographic perspective as ‘Dario urops' is the first member of the Badidae family that has been described from the Western Ghats.
The 19 other species were distributed in the Eastern Himalayas and Indo-Burma, he added.
Source: The Hindu, June 16, 2012