Weird Catfish Species Discovered In Myanmar

Posted: Jan 25 2017, 2:32pm CST | by , Updated: Jan 25 2017, 2:47pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Weird Catfish Species Discovered in Myanmar
Credit: Xiao-Yong Chen

The catfish is distinguished from other species by its unique mouthpart and teeth

While surveying fishes in the drainage of Mail Hka River in northern Burma, a team of Chinese researchers has discovered a peculiar type of catfish species. The new fish species is vastly different from other catfish species due to its mouthpart which has unusual set of teeth and color.

The teeth at upper and back of the lower jaw are sharp and pointy while those placed in the front lower jaw are shorter and broader having a continuous dent.

The new catfish, scientifically named Oreoglanis hponkanensis, belongs to genus Oreoglanis and is a member of sisoridae family of catfish. Sisoridae is the largest family of Asian catfish, with more than 200 species.

Oreoglanis genus is endemic to Asian waters, in particular fast flowing streams. These fishes are characterized by their strongly depressed head and body and enlarged paired fins. The genus contains 22 species, out of which only 2 are found in Myanmar. The new fish was discovered by researches from Chinese Academy of Sciences in December 2015.

The newfound catfish species is predominantly brown with yellow lower side. Yellow patches are also scattered throughout its body. It is further distinguished from other catfishes by its bright orange patches in the middle of the fin. Like other catfish, it inhabits fast flowing mountain streams with stone, cobble, and sand beds.

The description of the new species is outlined in open access journal ZooKeys.

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