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Sunday, December 23

New glass fish species Parambassis waikhomi described from Loktak Lake, Manipur

According to a research paper published in the Journal of threatened Taxa, researchers with the ICAR have found and described a glass fish species previously unknown to science from the Chindwin basin of the Loktak Lake in the North Eastern state of Manipur in India.

Parambassis waikhomi, new glass fish species, loktak lake fish, manipur fish
Parambassis waikhomi, the new glass fish species
 found in Loktak Lake, Manipur
The newly identified fish belongs to the family Ambassidae which has small to medium sized transparent fishes which are usually called freshwater glass perches. According to the researchers, the new fish belongs to Parambassis genus of glass fishes which differ from others in the number of scales in the lateral series and in the number of dorsal and anal fin rays.

The new comer now makes the sixth species of glass fishes in the Parambassis genus found in India. Totally 12 species are so far reported from the genus from the Asian continent.

Unique morphology of P. waikhomi
According to the research paper, the newly identified fish differs from other closely related species in the family with the presence of 58 to 60 lateral line scales, two predorsal bones and a set of other body characters. The newly described fish reportedly has a humeral spot, which also makes it different from six other closely related species of the same genus.

Loktak Lake
Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Similarly, it does not have the pre-dorsal scales present in many other species in the same genus. The number of gill rakes, scales in the lateral series also makes it different from closest relatives. The live specimens of the fish, according to the researchers, were semi-transparent with yellowish or silver coloration.

Named after Indian Icthyologist
The new species was named as Parambassis waikhomi, in honour of Prof. Waikhom Viswanatah who has made extensive contributions to the study of fishes in North Eastern India. He is presently at the Department of Life Sciences, Manipur University.

The fish, as per present knowledge, is restricted to the Chindwin Basin of Loktak Lake in Manipur. According to the paper, though glass fishes are found widespread in India, there is a need to take up detailed study to taxonomically describe them, since the supposedly widespread species may be actually species complexes. 

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