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Species of the Macrognathus aculeatus group in Myanmar with remarks on M. caudiocellatus (Teleostei: Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae)

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  • Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden

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The species of the Macrognathus aculeatus group from Myanmar are reviewed and three new species are described. Macrognathus dorsiocellatus, new species, previously identified as M. aral, is distinguished by rostral tooth plates 19-23, dorsal fin spines 14-22, 7-11 small ocelli along soft dorsal fin, with ventrally open, incomplete white rim; M. obscurus, new species, is distinguished by rostral tooth plates 8-10, dorsal fin spines 20-22, ocelli along dorsal fin developed as small irregularly arranged dark spots or absent, M. pavo, new species, is distinguished by the presence of only 4-6 dorsal-fin spines, only 6-8 rostral tooth plates and details of the colour pattern. In addition, M. lineatomaculatus, new species, is described from India and Nepal and it is distinguished by rostral tooth plates 15-17, dorsal fin spines 19-22, and large black blotches along dorsal fin. The systematic position of M. caudiocel-latus is reviewed and the species is retransferred to Mastacembelus.
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Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 295-308, 7 figs., 3 tabs., December 2009
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Species of the Macrognathus aculeatus group in Myanmar
with remarks on M. caudiocellatus
(Teleostei: Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae)
Ralf Britz*
The species of the Macrognathus aculeatus group from Myanmar are reviewed and three new species are described.
Macrognathus dorsiocellatus, new species, previously identified as M. aral, is distinguished by rostral tooth plates
19-23, dorsal fin spines 14-22, 7-11 small ocelli along soft dorsal fin, with ventrally open, incomplete white rim;
M. obscurus, new species, is distinguished by rostral tooth plates 8-10, dorsal fin spines 20-22, ocelli along dorsal
fin developed as small irregularly arranged dark spots or absent, M. pavo, new species, is distinguished by the
presence of only 4-6 dorsal-fin spines, only 6-8 rostral tooth plates and details of the colour pattern. In addition,
M. lineatomaculatus, new species, is described from India and Nepal and it is distinguished by rostral tooth plates
15-17, dorsal fin spines 19-22, and large black blotches along dorsal fin. The systematic position of M. caudiocel-
latus is reviewed and the species is retransferred to Mastacembelus.
* Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, London, SW75BD, United Kingdom.
E-mail: r.britz@nhm.ac.uk
Introduction
Spiny eels of the Macrognathus aculeatus species
group form a monophyletic unit characterized
uniquely among mastacembelids by a series of
paired tooth plates that support the long rostral
tentacle. Sufi (1956), who published the last revi-
sion of all Asian mastacembelids, recognized only
a single species in this group: M. aculeatus. This
species was thought to have an extremely wide
distribution (India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon,
Siam, Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, Borneo
and Moluccas according to Sufi, 1956: 103) and
to be also highly variable morphologically. Sufis
(1956) view was commonly accepted until Roberts
(1980: 388-389) revised this group of mastacem-
belids and recognized three species, M. aral from
all of the larger river systems of the Indian sub-
continent, including Sri Lanka and Burma,
M. siamensis from the Mekong basin of Thailand
and Kampuchea (and presumably in Laos), as
well as in the Chao Phraya and other rivers of
Thailand southwards to the northern end of the
Malay peninsula, and M. aculeatus from the
southern half of the Malay peninsula; several of
the principal rivers of Sumatra; the Kapuas River
of Borneo; and northern Java as far east as the
Brantas River.
During three recent visits to the Swedish
Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, I had
the opportunity to study their holdings of speci-
mens of the M. aculeatus group from Myanmar
and to compare them with those from the neigh-
bouring countries India and Thailand. This was
296
Britz: Macrognathus aculeatus group
complemented by additional material from other
institutions. A thorough analysis of the material
demonstrated that the species in Myanmar con-
sidered M. aral by Roberts (1980, 1986) actually
represents an undescribed species and that the
species-level diversity of this species group is
even higher. The present paper serves to describe
these new species.
Material and methods
Measurements were taken with digital callipers
to the nearest 0.1 mm. Obtaining accurate meas-
urements in mastacembelids usually proves dif-
ficult because specimens are frequently preserved
in a bent and twisted state. Standard length,
predorsal length (spinous and soft), preanal
length, head length and snout length were meas-
ured from the anterior tip of the body of the
premaxilla, thus not including the proboscis,
which is often twisted and distorted. This land-
mark can be located by bending the rostrum
ventrally and pushing the caliper towards the eye
until a firm point is found. Vertebral numbers
were counted from radiographs. Fin ray counts
for unpaired fins were also obtained from radio-
graphs, those of pectoral fins from alcohol speci-
mens under transmitted light. The count of cau-
dal-fin rays includes also the small and sometimes
tiny procurrent rays. Counting the number of
pectoral-fin rays in alcohol specimens was not
without difficulties and small fin rays at the
margins of the fin may have been overlooked.
Several specimens of the different samples that
were studied for the present paper show vertebral
elements with double or even more numerous
neural and/or haemal spines. Specimens with
this kind of teratological variation were excluded
from the analysis of meristic data. Abbreviations
used: BMNH, The Natural History Museum,
London; CAS, California Academy of Sciences,
San Francisco; NRM, Swedish Museum of Natu-
ral History, Stockholm; USNM, National Mu-
seum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington.
Macrognathus dorsiocellatus, new species
(Fig. 2)
Holotype. NRM 60293, 133.3 mm SL; Myanmar:
Bago Division: roadside stream about 64km on
road Taungoo–Nyaunglaybin, 18°19'5" N 96°30'
7" E; F. Fang et al., 19 Mar 1997.
Paratypes. NRM 24779, 3, 192.7-222.8 mm SL;
Myanmar: Yangon Division: Yangon River, S of
Yangon, W bank (probably c 12 miles from Yan-
gon city); 22 Jan-2 Jul 1935. – USNM 372501, 9,
90.0-125.1 mm SL; Myanmar: Yangon Division:
Thanlyin market; C. J. Ferraris, 18-26 Apr 1996.
– NRM 39701, 2, 109.1-126.2 mm SL; Myanmar:
Yangon Division: Yangon, Kyimyindine Town-
ship, Central Fish Market, 16°47'0" N 96°10'0" E;
F Fang & A Roos 14 Mar 1997. – NRM 58246, 2,
132.3-137.3 mm SL; Myanmar: Yangon Division:
Barlar Chaung, approximately 40 km (25 miles)
on the way from Yangon northeast to Bago ; Del-
ling et al., 15 Mar 2008. – NRM 58205, 8, 122.5-
162.0 mm SL; Myanmar: Yangon Division: Barlar
Chaung, approximately 40 km (25 miles) on the
way from Yangon northeast to Bago; Delling et
al., 15 Mar 2008. – NRM 39873, 134.6 mm SL;
Myanmar: Bago Division: Bago, fish market,
100°E
95°E
90°E 100°E
95°E
90°E
10°N
15°N
25°N
20°N
10°N
15°N
25°N
20°N
India
India
B
angla-
angla-
desh
desh
C
hina
hina
Laos
Laos
T
hailand
hailand
V
iet-
iet-
nam
nam
India
Bangla-
desh
China
Laos
Thailand
Viet-
nam
M. dorsiocellatus
M. obscurus
M. morehensis
M. pavo
Fig. 1. Sampling localities of species of the Macro gnathus
aculeatus group in Myanmar.
297
Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 20, No. 4
17°20'0" N 96°29'0" E; F. Fang & A. Roos, 15 Mar
1997. – NRM 39887, 146.2 mm SL; same data as
holotype. – BMNH 2009.7.3.1-2, 2, 112.5-156.0 mm
SL; Myanmar: Bago Division: Daik U township,
pool beside road next to ricefield, 17°44'06" N
96°07'22" E; 17; R. Britz et al. 19 Oct 2008. – NRM
39670, 250 mm SL; Myanmar: Bago Division:
river crossing road about 27 km from Bago to
Waw, near Waw, 17°27'43" N 96°39'9" E; F. Fang
& A. Roos, 15 Mar 1997. – USNM 372501, 5, 127.8-
174.8 mm SL; Myanmar: Bago Division: Nga Zin
Yaing creek near Taungoo; C. Ferraris et al. 25
Oct 1997. – NRM 48647,107.3 mm SL; Myanmar:
Mon State: about 20 km SE of Moulmein, Kyaik-
maraw Market near Ataran Chaung, 16°22'59" N
97°43'59" E; T. R. Roberts, 1-6 Sep 2000. – NRM
58327, 1, 157.0 mm SL; Myanmar: Mon State:
Kyaikto market; F. Fang and Thein Win, 15 Mar
2008. – USNM 378907, 4, 153.8-158.0 mm SL;
Myanmar: Mandalay Division: Mandalay mar-
kets; R. Britz & R. Roesler 20 Mar 2003. – USNM
344664, 3, 128.4-188.3 mm SL; Myanmar: Manda-
lay Division: Mandalay markets; C. J. Ferraris et
al., 9-10 Nov 1996. – NRM 12915, 2, 106.5-165.3 mm
SL; Myanmar: Mandalay Division: Mandalay;
1935. – NRM 14945, 3, 101.2-145.1 mm SL; Myan-
mar: Mandalay Division: Mandalay area, 12 dif-
ferent sites, 22°0'0" N 96°5'0" E; O. Hetzel, 1 Mar-
30 Apr 1935. – BMNH 2009.7.3.3-4, 2, 152.3-
200.7 mm SL; Myanmar: Shan State: Kalaw, Kalaw
market, reportedly from Mandalay Division:
Thazi: Minhla Lake; R. Britz & O. Crimmen 1 Nov
2008.
Diagnosis. Macrognathus dorsiocellatus is a mem-
ber of the M. aculeatus species group. It differs
from all other species of this group by the follow-
ing combination of characters: rostral tooth plates
Fig. 2. Macrognathus dorsiocellatus, NRM 60293, holotype, 133.3 mm SL; Myanmar: Bago Division, roadside stream
about 64 km on road Taungoo–Nyaunglaybin.
Fig. 3. a, Macrognathus siamensis, BMNH 1861.10.8.14, 138 mm SL; Thailand: Pechabore [Petchaburi]; b, M. aral,
NRM 40555, 169 mm SL; India: Western Bengal: Kolkata.
a
b
298
19-23, dorsal-fin spines 14-22, and 7-11 small
ocelli along soft dorsal fin, with ventrally open,
incomplete white rim.
Description. For general appearance see Figure 2.
Morphometric data are provided in Table 1 and
vertebral and dorsal-fin spine counts are pre-
sented in Tables 2 and 3.
Body elongate, oval in cross section, but
strongly laterally compressed in its caudal area.
Depth 7.1-9.3 times in SL and body width 1.9-2.8
times in its depth. Head pointed with median
fleshy rostral tentacle projecting from upper jaw;
tentacle with anterior naris at end of nasal tube
originating at its subdistal tip, rim of anterior
naris with six fimbriae; lips fleshy; jaws with
numerous small, pointed teeth; gill membrane
connected to isthmus; opercular opening large
ventrally but extending dorsally only to level of
horizontal through upper third of pectoral-fin
base. Preopercular region without any spines.
Minute scales on body, opercular area and cheek;
a narrow band extending from above eye to pos-
terior naris, and on base of rostral tentacle.
Pectoral-fin rays 20-24. Dorsal fin with 14-22
spines and 51-61 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and
51-60 rays. Caudal-fin rays 16-20. Dorsal, caudal,
and anal fins separated. First dorsal-fin pterygi-
ophore inserted behind 13th to 20th neural spine,
pterygiophore of last dorsal fin spine inserted
behind 32nd to 36th neural spine. First anal-fin
pterygiophore inserted behind haemal spine of
32nd to 35th vertebra.
Anal-fin spines covered and concealed by
thick skin, second spine longest. Penultimate
dorsal-fin spine longest, followed by shorter last
spine, completely concealed by thick skin, difficult
to detect.
Lateral line extending from shoulder girdle
in a longitudinal line, higher on body in ab-
dominal region descending to middle of body in
caudal region and ending some distance in front
of caudal fin. Vertebrae: 32-35 + 40-46 = 72-80.
Colour in alcohol. Colour dark brown on dor-
sum, becoming lighter brown on side, whitish on
ventrum. Narrow white longitudinal line from
above eye posteriorly along body, where it marks
lateral-line canal. Area below white narrow line
commonly with darker brown band that extends
to snout.
Series of 7-11 ocelli along base of dorsal fin.
Individual ocelli with dark brown to black center
and white rim that fails to close ventrally. A few
specimens (e. g. NRM 48647, 58205) with faint
oblique anteriorly-directed bars originating from
bases of ocelli. Posterior two-thirds of soft dorsal
fin with longitudinal dark-brown striations. Soft
Table 1. Selected morphometric data for Macrognathus dorsiocellatus, M. obscurus, M. pavo and M. lineatomacula-
tus. H, Holotype; SD, standard deviation.
Britz: Macrognathus aculeatus group
M. dorsiocellatus M. obscurus
H n = 39 mean ± SD H n = 3 mean ± SD
Standard length (SL) in mm 133.3 97-250 135 99.6-135
In percent of standard length
Head length (HL) 18.4 16.6-21.5 18.7±1.3 18.1 18.1-18.9 18.4±0.4
Predorsal length of spinous dorsal fin 39.6 35.3-42.8 39.5±1.9 33.3 33.3-38.5 35.4±2.7
Predorsal length of soft dorsal fin 63.5 63.5-70.2 66.7±1.4 69.3 65.5-69.3 67.1±1.9
Preanal length 54.4 56.4-65.5 61.2±1.6 60.4 59.8-60.8 60.4±0.5
Pectoral fin length 6.4 5.9-7.9 6.9±0.6 6.7 6.4-7.0 6.7±0.3
Body depth at pectoral fin 9.6 7.2-9.8 8.3±0.7 8.8 7.2-8.8 8.1±0.8
Body depth at 1st anal-fin spine 11.9 11.2-14.1 12.3±0.7 11.9 11.9-13.7 12.9±1.0
Body width at 1st anal-fin spine 5.9 4.5-6.7 5.8±0.5 5.5 5.5-6.4 5.9±0.5
In percent of head length
Snout length 37.6 31.8-42.8 36.7±2.7 37.4 38.8-40.4 39.9±1.0
Eye diameter 11.0 9.0-14.1 11.4±1.3 12.7 12.7-14.9 13.4±1.3
Ratios
Depth/width of body 2.0 1.9-2.8 2.2±0.2 2.2 2.1-2.3 2.2±0.1
Standard length/Head lenth 5.4 4.7-6.3 5.4±0.4 5.5 5.3-5.5 5.4±0.1
Standard length/body depth at 1st anal-fin spine 8.4 7.1-9.0 8.1±0.4 8.4 7.3-8.4 7.8±0.6
299
Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 20, No. 4
anal fin uniform brownish, sometimes with white
rim. Caudal fin with series of vertical striae. Pec-
toral fin uniformly whitish with no additional
darker marks.
Distribution. Known from the Ayeyarwaddy,
lower Sittang and lower Salween basins in My-
anmar. Widespread at lower altitudes in southern
Myanmar up to the Mandalay area of the Ayeyar-
waddy basin.
Etymology. The name is derived from the Latin
words dorsum, back, and ocellatus, with ocelli,
referring to the series of ocelli along the dorsal
fin. An adjective.
Remarks. Macrognathus dorsiocellatus resembles
most closely M. siamensis (Fig. 3a), but differs from
it by more dorsal-fin ocelli (7-11 vs. 3-6), absence
of ocellus on caudal-fin base (vs. presence) and
more rostral tooth plates (19-24 vs. 11-13). It is
also readily distinguished from the other ocel-
lated Indian Macrognathus, M. aral (Fig. 3b) and
M. pentophthalmos, by a higher number of dorsal-
fin ocelli (7-11 vs. 3-6), the incomplete white rim
of the ocelli, lack of the two dark longitudinal
stripes and a striped rather than marbled caudal
fin. The other Indian/Myanmar Macrognathus
with incomplete dorsal-fin ocelli, M. morehensis
(Fig. 6), has fewer rostral tooth plates (11-16 vs.
19-24). This new species has previously been
referred to as either M. aculeatus (Day, 1878, 1889;
Vinciguerra, 1889-90; Sufi, 1956) or M. aral (Rob-
erts, 1980, 1986; Talwar & Jhingran, 1992; Vidthay-
anon et al. 2005 [note that the specimen illus-
trated in this account as M. aral from Myanmar
is not M. dorsiocellatus but most likely an Indian
specimen of the true M. aral, as evidenced by the
typical colour pattern]). Kottelat & Widjanarti
(2005) resolved the confusion surrounding the
name Macro gnathus aculeatus, once considered to
be a widespread species, through designation of
a neotype from the Brantas basin in Java.
Macrognathus aral is an Indian species with
fluvios Tranquebarenses (rivers of Tranque-
bar, the earlier transcription of Tharangambadi)
as type locality, but with a more widespread
distribution in India. With the exception of one
specimen (NRM 18350) from Tamil Nadu and the
types in the Berlin museum (ZMB 1419, ZMB
1420), all specimens of M. aral used in this study
are from northern India. They, however, corre-
spond in their meristic characters closely to the
lectotype of M. aral, as designated by Paepke
(1999) and the specimens that Pethiyagoda et al.
(2008) list as topotypic material of M. aral, with
the exception of the number of abdominal verte-
brae. Pethiyagoda et al. (2008: 43) noted that
These specimens (ZMB 1420, ZMB 1419) differ
significantly from the Sri Lankan examples of
Macrognathus examined by us: they (ZMB 1420,
ZMB 1419) have 18 dorsal spines . . . and 36-37
precaudal vertebrae . . ., both of which are consist-
ent with our series of 18 topotypes of M. aral.
The radiographs I received of the Bloch types
(courtesy of P. Bartsch, ZMB) show 35 abdominal
vertebrae in ZMB 1419 and 34 abdominal verte-
brae in both specimens of ZMB 1420, and not
36-37 as mentioned by Pethiyagoda et al. (2008).
In addition all specimens of M. aral that were
investigated during the present study have 32-35
abdominal vertebrae. That means that the ab-
dominal vertebral count of M. aral falls within the
range given for M. pentophthalmos by Pethiya-
goda et al. (2008) and is not a distinguishing
character of the two species. The count of 18 spines
for the three ZMB specimens by Pethiyagoda et
al. (2008) and Paepkes (1999) count of 19 spines
for ZMB 1419 are also erroneous. ZMB 1419 has
20 and the two specimens of ZMB 1420 each have
17 dorsal fin spines.
M. pavo M. lineatomaculatus
H n = 9 mean ± SD H n = 20 mean ± SD
133.3 95.6-157.5 144.6 114.5-184.3
17.0 16.6-18.3 17.5±0.6 18.7 17.9-20.4 19.3±0.7
52.0 49.5-54.0 52.3±1.2 34.2 33.3-39.9 35.9±1.9
60.3 58.4-61.1 59.8±0.8 64.6 62.3-67.8 65.0±1.1
54.4 54.4-58.7 56.8±1.3 60.4 58.7-63.0 61.0±1.2
5.9 4.8-6.5 5.6±0.6 6.9 5.9-6.9 6.4±0.3
6.9 6.4-7.1 6.8±0.2 7.3 7.3-8.5 7.6±0.4
8.4 9.6-11.2 10.3±0.6 10.7 9.6-12.3 11.0±0.6
4.4 4.7-6.4 5.6±0.6 4.1 4.0-5.5 4.8±0.4
36.0 34.1-37.9 36.1±1.9 36.5 36.5-43.9 40.5±2.2
9.3 9.3-11.6 10.3±0.7 13.3 10.5-14.3 11.8±1.1
2.1 1.7-2.2 1.9±0.2 2.6 2.1-2.7 2.3±0.2
5.9 5.5-6.0 5.7±0.2 5.3 4.9-5.6 5.2±0.2
9.7 9.0-10.4 9.7±0.5 9.3 8.5-10.4 9.1±0.5
300
Macrognathus obscurus, new species
(Fig. 4)
Holotype. NRM 36330, 135 mm SL; Myanmar:
Kachin State: Hpa Lap Chaung just south of
Yuzana Myaing village (8 km left from Myitkina
Myitzon rd km 11), 25°31'57'' N 97°22'19'' E; F.
Fang & A Roos,1 April 1997.
Paratypes. USNM 372502, 2, 99.6-125.6 mm SL;
Myanmar: Kachin State: Hpa Lap stream, of Nam
Chin Chaung, of Nan Kwe Chaung, NW of My-
itkina, 25°31'36'' N 97°22'45'' E; C. Ferraris et al.,
6 Nov 1997.
Diagnosis. Macrognathus obscurus is a member
of the M. aculeatus species group. It differs from
all other species of this group by the following
combination of characters: rostral tooth plates
8-10, dorsal-fin spines 20-22, and ocelli along
dorsal fin developed as small irregularly arranged
dark spots or absent.
Description. For general appearance see Figure 4.
Morphometric data are provided in Table 1 and
vertebral and dorsal-fin spine counts are pre-
sented in Tables 2 and 3.
Body elongate, oval in cross section, but
strongly laterally compressed in its caudal area.
Depth 7.3-8.4 times in SL and body width 2.1-2.3
times in its depth. Head pointed with median
fleshy rostral tentacle projecting from upper jaw;
tentacle with anterior naris at end of nasal tube
originating at subdistal tip of rostral tentacle, rim
of anterior naris with six fimbriae; lips fleshy;
jaws with numerous small, pointed teeth; gill
membrane connected to isthmus; opercular open-
ing large ventrally but extending dorsally only
to level of horizontal through upper third of
pectoral-fin base. Preopercular region without
any spines. Minute scales on body, opercular area,
and cheek; a narrow band extending from above
eye to posterior naris, and on base of rostral
tentacle.
Pectoral-fin rays 22-24. Dorsal fin with 20-22
spines and 50-55 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and
49-51 rays. Caudal-fin rays 16-18. Dorsal, caudal,
and anal fins separated. First dorsal-fin pterygio-
phore inserted behind 12th to13th neural spine,
pterygiophore of last dorsal fin spine inserted
behind 33rd to 35th neural spine. First anal-fin
pterygiophore inserted behind haemal spine of
32nd vertebra.
Anal-fin spines covered and concealed by
thick skin, second spine longest. Penultimate
dorsal-fin spine longest, followed by shorter last
spine, completely concealed by thick skin, difficult
to detect.
Lateral line extending from shoulder girdle
in a longitudinal line, higher on body in ab-
dominal region descending to middle of body in
caudal region and ending some distance in front
of caudal fin. Vertebrae: 32 + 40-42 = 72-74.
Colour in alcohol. Head and body with narrow
white longitudinal line from above eye posteri-
orly along body, where it marks lateral-line canal,
on body broken up by darker spots into a series
of shorter lines with round, spot-like, white marks.
Below white narrow line area on head and body
darker brown with white speckling. Colour dark
brown on dorsum, followed by lighter brown
band in dorsal third of body from above eye
extending to caudal area. Ventrum pale whitish.
A series of 8 or 9 very small, sometimes indistinct
black spots along base of dorsal fin, not expressed
as ocelli with white rim as in M. dorsiocellatus. Soft
dorsal fin whitish with brown oblique longitudi-
nal striations. Soft anal fin with brownish base,
whitish rim and a few striae on posterior fifth.
Caudal fin with a series of vertical somewhat
irregular striae. Pectoral fin uniformly whitish
with a few brownish marks at the base.
Fig. 4. Macrognathus obscurus, NRM 36330, holotype, 135 mm SL; Myanmar: Kachin State: Hpa Lap Chaung.
Britz: Macrognathus aculeatus group
301
Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 20, No. 4
Distribution. Known from Hpa Lap stream near
Myitkina in northern Myanmar, the type locality
of Danio kyathit (Fang, 1998).
Etymology. From the Latin adjective obscurus,
dark, inconspicuous, alluding to the lack of the
prominent dorsal-fin ocelli or spots, otherwise
typical of the M. aculeatus species group.
Remarks. Macrognathus obscurus resembles
M. morehensis (Fig. 6) in number of rostral plates,
but differs from it in number of dorsal-fin spines
(20-22 vs. 11-16). It also superficially resembles
M. dorsiocellatus (Fig. 2), but is easily distinguished
by the absence of the dorsal-fin ocelli and by the
narrow longitudinal white line that marks the
lateral-line canal being interrupted by darker
spots.
Macrognathus pavo, new species
(Fig. 5)
Holotype. BMNH 2009.7.3.5, 133.3 mm SL; My-
anmar: Rakhine State: Kyeintali Chaung; Han
Thet Aung, 23 Nov 2008.
Paratypes. BMNH 2009.7.3.6, 1, 122.5 mm SL;
same data as holotype. – BMNH 2009.11.3.1-7, 7,
95.6-157.5 mm SL; Myanmar: Rakhine State:
Kyeintali Chaung; Han Thet Aung, 25 Jan 2009.
– BMNH 2009.12.14.1-6, 6, 103.4-147.2 mm SL;
Myanmar: Rakhine State: Kyeintali Chaung; Han
Thet Aung, Apr 2008. – BMNH 2009.12.14.7-8, 2,
89.8-98.7 mm SL; Myanmar Rakhine State: Taung
Chaung: Kyeintali Chaung drainage, 18°00'37'' N
94°32'0'' E; Zaw Win & Han Thet Aung 2 Dec
2009.
Diagnosis. Macrognathus pavo is a member of the
M. aculeatus species group. It differs from all
other Asian mastacembelids by the presence of
only 4-6 dorsal-fin spines (vs. 11-40). It differs
further from all other species of the M. aculeatus
group by the presence of only 6-8 rostral tooth
plates (vs. from 9 in M. meklongensis to 55 in
M. tapirus) and details of the colour pattern.
Description. For general appearance see Figure 5.
Morphometric data are provided in Table 1 and
vertebral and dorsal-fin spine counts are pre-
sented in Tables 2 and 3.
Body elongate, oval in cross section, but
strongly laterally compressed in its caudal area.
Depth 9.0-10.4 times in SL and body width 1.7-2.2
times in its depth. Head pointed with median
fleshy rostral tentacle projecting from upper jaw;
tentacle with anterior naris at end of nasal tube
originating at its subdistal tip, rim of anterior
naris with six fimbriae; lips fleshy; jaws with
numerous small, pointed teeth; gill membrane
connected to isthmus; opercular opening large
ventrally but extending dorsally only to level of
horizontal through upper third of pectoral-fin
base. Preopercular region without any spines.
Minute scales on body, opercular area, and cheek;
a narrow band extending from above eye to pos-
terior naris, and on base of rostral tentacle.
Pectoral-fin rays 21-22. Dorsal fin with 4-6
spines and 53-55 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and
47-51 rays. Caudal-fin rays 16-18. Dorsal, caudal,
and anal fins separated, but contiguous. Pterygi-
ophore of first dorsal fin spine inserted behind
25th to 27th neural spine, pterygiophore of last
dorsal-fin spine inserted behind 31th to 32th neural
spine. First anal-fin pterygiophore inserted behind
haemal spine of 31nd to 32th vertebra.
Anal-fin spines covered and concealed by
thick skin, second spine longest. Penultimate
dorsal-fin spine longest, followed by shorter last
spine, completely concealed by thick skin, difficult
to detect.
Fig. 5. Macrognathus pavo, BMNH 2009.7.3.5, holotype, 133.3 mm SL; Myanmar: Rakhine State: Kyeintali
Chaung.
302
Lateral line extending from shoulder girdle
in a longitudinal line, higher on body in ab-
dominal region descending to middle of body in
caudal region and ending some distance in front
of caudal fin. Vertebrae: 31-32 + 41-44 = 73-76.
Colour in alcohol. Head and body with black
stripe extending from in front of eye to horizon-
tal through middle of anal fin base. Bordered
dorsally by narrow, whitish to lighter brown
longitudinal line from in front of eye to anterior
third of caudal area. Upper half of side of body
with light brown longitudinal band from eye to
base of caudal fin. Middle of dorsum light brown
bordered laterally by a paired dark brown to black
line with irregular edge, extended posteriorly as
a series of small black spots along dorsal-fin base.
Ventral half of body lighter brown and set off
distinctly against whitish ventrum. A series of 16
to 20 prominent small black spots along base of
dorsal fin, and a series of 6 to 8 tiny black spots
along posterior third of anal-fin base. Soft dorsal
and anal fins whitish with brown oblique lines
of pigment following fin rays and tiny spots in
dorsal third of fin. Caudal fin also with brown
pigment lines following fin rays and peppering
of tiny black spots. Pectoral fin uniformly whitish
without any marks.
Distribution. Known from Kyeintali Chaung in
the Rakhine Yoma mountain range.
Etymology. From the Latin word pavo, pea-
fowl, referring to the numerous black spots along
the dorsal and anal fins but also on the body of
this species. A noun in apposition.
Remarks. Macrognathus pavo is one of the most
unusual in the M. aculeatus group because of its
colour pattern, the lowest number of rostral
toothplates, and the possession of the lowest
number of dorsal-fin spines in any Asian mast-
acembelid. This is correlated with a greater pre-
dorsal length of 49.5-54.0 % SL and a more pos-
terior insertion of the first spine-bearing dorsal-fin
pterygiophore (behind neural arch of 24-27th
vertebra vs. 12th-22nd ) than in the other Myanmar
species of the M. aculeatus group. The occurrence
of M. pavo in the Rakhine Yoma emphasizes again
the high level of endemism of the fish fauna of
this area, as pointed out previously (Britz, 2007;
Kullander & Fang 2004, 2009).
Table 2. Vertebral numbers of species of Macrognathus aculeatus group. Counts for holotypes and lectotype in
bold.
abdominal
vertebrae caudal vertebrae total vertebrae
31323334 35 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
M. dorsiocellatus 32417 1 2 7 1913 31 1 1 5 1812 6211
M. obscurus 32121
M. pavo 451531
251
M. morehensis 22 2
M. lineatomaculatus Jorai River India 322
21 41
Chittawan River Nepal 3 18 2 1 13 8 1 1 1210
M. aral ZMB 1420 lectotype 11 1
ZMB 1419 paralectoypes 2 2 2
Western Bengal NRM40555, 40566, 40598 4353 21453 1 233411
Tamil Nadu NRM 18350 1 1 1
Nepal SU 52965 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 1
Pakistan CAS 76437 1 1 1
M. pentophthalmos MCZ 166239 11 1
M. siamensis BMNH 1861.10.8.14 11 1
NRM 24786 5 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1
NRM 24787 1 1 1
NRM 51047 1 1 1
M. meklongensis NRM 24780 holotype 11 1
NRM 24781 1 1 1 1 1 1
Britz: Macrognathus aculeatus group
303
Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 20, No. 4
Macrognathus morehensis
Remarks. This species was described by Arun-
kumar & Tombi Singh (2000) from specimens
collected in the Yu River in Manipur, which drains
into the Chindwin in Myanmar. The authors
provided only a very rough illustration of the
holotype, which can barely be recognized as a
mastacembelid and on which no details can be
discerned. They list the combination of the fol-
lowing characters as diagnostic: (i) 11 to 16
dorsal fin spines, (ii) 20-25 black broad transverse
bars on the body, (iii) 8 to 11 rostral tooth-plates,
(iv) 12 to 14 black spots that are imperfect ocelli
at the base of dorsal fin rays, (v) 10 to13 distinct
black spots at the base of anal fin rays, (vi) 6 black
oval spots at the base of dorsal spines, (vii) 5 to 7
oblique striations of black dots arranged in paral-
lel longitudinal rows at the dorsal and anal fin
rays, (viii) 7 to 10 black lines of striations formed
by dots at the caudal fin, (ix) a single ocellus at
the base of caudal fin and (x) 76 vertebrae.
A photo of the holotype of M. morehensis was
provided by W. Vishwanath and is reproduced
herein (Fig. 6a). He also informed me (e-mail, Sept
2009) that only the holotype but none of the
8 paratypes listed by Arunkumar & Tombi Singh
(2000) have actually been deposited at MUMF;
their whereabouts are unknown. The photo of
the holotype of M. morehensis shows a depig-
mented fish with a series of indistinct ocelli along
the dorsal-fin base and several faint bars along
the posterior part of the body. The caudal fin has
at least 10 more or less vertical striae and the
posterior half of the dorsal fin shows a series of
mottled striations. The anal and pectoral fins are
whitish and do not seem to have any darker pig-
ments. That means of the seven colour pattern
characters listed in the diagnosis only four can
be observed in the photograph of the holotype.
Among the mastacembelids from Myanmar
used for the present study were two specimens
(USNM 372595, NRM 59031) from the Chindwin
basin that fit the description of M. morehensis and
have most of the diagnostic characters listed by
Arunkumar & Tombi Singh (2000). The two well-
preserved specimens identified as M. morehensis
in this study have 19-20 wide brown oblique bars
along the body, a whitish belly and a narrow
white line marking the lateral line canal (Fig. 6b).
There is also a series of 9-10 incompletely enclosed
dorsal fin ocelli, the base of which is continuous
with the lateral bars. A series of up to 8 incomplete
ocelli extends along the anal-fin base. Dorsal,
Table 3. Dorsal-fin spine numbers of species of Macrognathus aculeatus group. Counts for holotypes and lectotype
in bold.
4 5 6 11 14151617181920212223
M. dorsiocellatus 112
10 178631
M. obscurus 21
M. pavo 135
M. morehensis 2
M. lineatomaculatus Jorai River India 14 1
Chittawan River Nepal 24865
M. aral ZMB 1420 lectotype 1
ZMB 1419 paralectotypes 2
NRM 40555, 40566, 40598 Western Bengal 153312
NRM 18350 Tamil Nadu 1
SU 52965 Nepal 121
CAS 76437, 24255 Pakistan 11
M. pentophthalmos MCZ 166239 1
M. siamensis BMNH 1861.10.8.14 1
NRM 24786 122
NRM 24787 1
NRM 51047 1
M. meklongensis NRM 24780 holotype 1
NRM 24781 paratypes 2
304
caudal and anal fins show a series of dark brown
striations, more or less horizontally arranged on
dorsal and anal fins and vertically on the caudal
fin. Both specimens have 11 dorsal-fin spines and
10 and 11 rostral toothplates, respectively. The
colour pattern of M. morehensis somewhat resem-
ble M. dorsiocellatus in having a series of black
spots with an incomplete white rim at the dorsal
fin base, but M. morehensis differs clearly from the
latter in having fewer dorsal-fin spines and rostral
toothplates.
Macrognathus lineatomaculatus, new species
(Fig. 7)
Holotype. BMNH 2009.7.3.7, 144.6 mm SL; India:
West Bengal: Jalpaiguri district: Jorai River a
tributary of the Sankosh at Laskarpara, Barobisha
town outskirts (26°28'52" N 89°49'30" E); M. Das,
3 April 2008.
Paratypes. BMNH 2009.7.3.8-12, 5, 132.0-
184.3 mm SL; same data as holotype. – CAS 50320,
116.8 mm SL; Nepal: Rapti River, Chitawan Val-
ley at Kasa Darvar; T. R. Roberts, 27 Apr 1975.
– CAS 50331, 3, 87.4-142.8 mm SL; Nepal, Rapti
River basin, Chitawan Valley, Dudara River,
tributary to Rapti from Churia Hills; T. R. Roberts,
25 Apr 1975. – CAS 42592, 28, 104.1-160 mm SL;
Nepal, Upper Rapti River, 4 miles north of Hi-
taura; T. R. Roberts, 02 May 1975.
Diagnosis. Macrognathus lineatomaculatus is a
member of the M. aculeatus group. It differs from
all other species of that group by the following
combination of characters: rostral tooth plates
15-17, dorsal-fin spines 19-22, and large (eye size)
black blotches along dorsal fin. It is distinguished
from its other Indian congeners of the M. aculea-
tus group as follows: from M. aral, M. pentophthal-
mos and M. morehensis by presence of dorsal fin
blotches (vs. white rimmed dorsal fin ocelli), from
M. aral and M. pentophthalmos by fewer rostral
tooth plates (15-17 vs. 19-27), and in addition from
M. pentophthalmos and M. morehensis by more
dorsal-fin spines (19-22 vs. 11-16) and from M. mo-
rehensis by more rostral tooth plates (15-17 vs. 8-11).
Description. For general appearance see Figure 7.
Morphometric data are provided in Table 1 and
vertebral and dorsal-fin spine counts are pre-
sented in Tables 2 and 3.
Body elongate, oval in cross section, but
strongly laterally compressed in its caudal area.
Depth 8.9-9.5 times in SL and body width 2.3-2.7
times in its depth. Head pointed with median
fleshy rostral tentacle projecting from upper jaw;
tentacle with anterior naris at end of nasal tube
originating at its subdistal tip, rim of anterior
naris with six fimbriae; lips fleshy; jaws with
numerous small, pointed teeth; gill membrane
connected to isthmus; opercular opening large
ventrally but extending dorsally only to level of
horizontal through upper third of pectoral fin
Fig. 6. Macrognathus morehensis. a, MUMF 203/8A, holotype, 155 mm TL; India: Manipur: Maklang (photograph
courtesy of W. Vishwanath); b, NRM 59031, 149 mm SL; Myanmar: Chin State: road Kalaymyo-Tamu.
a
b
Britz: Macrognathus aculeatus group
305
Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 20, No. 4
Fig. 7. Macrognathus lineatomaculatus. a, BMNH 2009.7.3.7, holotype, 144.6 mm SL; India: West Bengal: Sankosh
River drainage; b, CAS 42592, 143.7 mm SL; Nepal: Upper Rapti River.
a
b
base. Preopercular region without any spines.
Minute scales on body, opercular area, cheek,
and; a narrow band extending from above eye to
posterior naris, and on base of rostral tentacle.
Pectoral-fin rays 22-23. Dorsal fin with 19-22
spines and 50-57 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and
47-54 rays. Caudal-fin rays 16-17. Dorsal, caudal,
and anal fins separated. First dorsal-fin pterygi-
ophore inserted behind 12th to 14th neural spine,
pterygiophore of last dorsal fin spine inserted
behind 34th to 35th neural spine. First anal-fin
pterygiophore inserted behind haemal spine of
33rd to 34th vertebra.
Anal-fin spines covered and concealed by
thick skin, second spine longest. Penultimate
dorsal-fin spine longest, followed by shorter last
spine, completely concealed by thick skin, difficult
to detect.
Lateral line extending from shoulder girdle
in longitudinal line, higher on body in abdominal
region descending to middle of body in caudal
region and ending at some distance in front of
caudal fin. Vertebrae: 33-34 + 40-43 = 74-76.
Colour in alcohol. Head and body with a light,
whitish-beige band extending from posterior naris
in front of eye to caudal fin. Bordered dorsally
by dark brown longitudinal line from back of
head to caudal fin. This line frequently broken
up into eye size blotches beneath spinous dorsal
fin. Ventral to whitish-beige band with a dark
brown stripe from snout to caudal fin, sometimes
expressed as series of dark blotches slightly be-
neath lateral line canal in abdominal area and at
level of lateral line canal in caudal area. More
ventrally side brown and more or less well sepa-
rated from light brown to whitish ventrum.
Series of up to 10 circular black blotches along
base of soft dorsal fin, sometimes only expressed
in posterior part of fin. Proximal area of soft
dorsal fin whitish, with series of darker small
circular or irregular marks, sometimes forming
second series of smaller blotches above basal
series of blotches. Rim of dorsal and anal fins
whitish, but fins with dusky subdistal band.
Caudal fin dusky sometimes with a few darker
roundish marks. Pectoral fin whitish with a
darker brown mark at base and some brown
chromatophores along fin rays.
Distribution. Macrognathus lineatomaculatus is
known from the Jorai River in Western Bengal,
India, a tributary of the Sankosh, and the Rapti
River basin in Nepal.
Etymology. A combination of the Latin words
lineatus, striped, and maculatus, with blotches,
referring to its row of blotches along the dorsal-fin
base and sometimes along the middle of the body.
An adjective.
Remarks. Macrognathus lineatomaculatus has been
figured as M. aral by Roberts (1980: fig. 2b). It
differs from M. aral, however, in colour pattern
as well as number of rostral tooth plates (15-17
vs. 20-24).
306
Discussion
Among mastacembelids, species of the Macro-
gnathus aculeatus group are easily recognized by
their comparatively longer rostral tentacle that is
supported by a varying number of pairs of tooth
plates most likely representing a fragmented
premaxilla (Sufi, 1956). The first mention of this
unique character was probably by Schneider
(1801: 478) when he described Rhynchobdella ori-
entalis as having labium superius productum in
rostrum infra excavatum, plicis transversis
plurimis, carina longitudinalis divisis (upper lip
produced into a rostrum, hollowed out below,
with numerous transverse folds, divided by a
longitudinal keel). Sufi (1956) studied the details
of the structure of this unusual rostrum and
clarified that it includes a series of tooth plates
along the ventral face of the proboscis in front of
the maxilla. He concluded that this feature dis-
tinguishes Macrognathus from Mastacembelus.
Days (1878) and Sufis (1956) conclusion of a
monotypic Macrognathus was followed until
Roberts (1980) revised the genus and recognized
three species, M. aculeatus, M. aral, and M. siamen-
sis. Roberts (1986) later described a fourth species
from this species group, M. meklongensis from the
Mae Khlong River basin in Kanchanaburi, Thai-
land. A fifth species, M. morehensis (Arunkumar
& Tombi Singh, 2000) was added from the Yu
River system in Manipur, a tributary of the Chind-
win in Myanmar. Kottelat & Widjanarti (2005)
demonstrated that Fowlers Mastacembelus pauci-
spinis from Trang in Thailand is actually a sixth
valid species of the Macrognathus aculeatus group,
but because the name was preoccupied they cre-
ated the replacement name M. tapirus. And fi-
nally, Pethiyagoda et al. (2008) concluded re-
cently that the spiny eel in Sri Lanka formerly
considered M. aral, is a separate species, M. pent-
ophthalmos, which is now apparently extinct. There
have thus been seven recognized species in the
M. aculeatus group to date. The present paper
brings this figure up to 11.
Travers concept of Macrognathus. Cuvier &
Valenciennes (1832) distinguished two genera
among the Rhynchobdelles, Rhynchobdella « qui
ont le museau concave et strié en dessous [the
pairs of rostral tooth plates described in Sufi,
1956], et les trois nageoires verticales séparées »
and Mastacembelus « dont le museau est simple-
ment conique, sans stries ni concavité, et dont les
nageoires verticales sont plus ou moins complète-
ment réunies ». This distinction has been adopted
by various authors until Travers (1984a-b), how-
ever, with Macrognathus La Cepède, 1800 replac-
ing Rhynchobdella Bloch, in Schneider, 1801 as the
valid name for this genus. Travers (1984b) hy-
pothesized that eight species included until then
in the genus Mastacembelus are actually more
closely related to the species of the genus Macro-
gnathus than to other Mastacembelus species. Ac-
cordingly, he chose to add these eight species to
Macrognathus thus expanding the genus to the
effect that the series of tooth plates was not diag-
nostic of the genus anymore but only of the spe-
cies of the M. aculeatus group.
Travers (1984b) listed eight synapomorphies
(61-68) for his expanded Macrognathus, in which
he included also M. caudiocellatus. As material
studied for the species M. caudiocellatus, Travers
(1984a: 7) listed only the three syntypes and
noted that he used radiographs to study them.
No specimens of M. caudiocellatus were thus avail-
able to him for dissection and, of the eight synapo-
morphies for his expanded genus Macrognathus,
only one or two are potentially observable in
radiographs of M. caudiocellatus (64. Dorsal surface
of frontal slopes ventrolaterally; 65. Elongate
narrow neural and haemal spines, associated with
a deep body) and a third (68. 6 slender digitiform
fimbriae around rim of each anterior nostril as-
sociated with relatively long rostral appendage)
is potentially observable in alcohol specimens. I
checked the three type specimens of M. caudiocel-
latus (BMNH 18) and found the snout in all of
them bent or distorted and not preserved well
enough to be able to evaluate the structure of the
anterior nares. Newly collected alcohol specimens
of M. caudiocellatus (NRM 28481, 58401), however,
fail to confirm the presence of 6 fimbriae (finger-
like skin projections) around the rim of the ante-
rior nostril as suggested by Travers (1984b), but
rather the typical condition of most Mastacembe-
lus, with just two finger-like fimbriae and two
larger fimbrules (= skin flaps). The inclusion of
M. caudiocellatus in Macrognathus is thus not sup-
ported even in the wider sense of Travers (1984b)
and the species is placed in Mastacembelus.
Comparative material. Macrognathus aral: 25 speci-
mens, 113-193 mm SL. ZMB 1419, lectotype; India:
fluvios Tranquebarenses. – ZMB 1420, 2, paralectotypes
according to Paepke (1999). – NRM 40598, 6; India:
Western Bengal, Kolkata, New Market, Jadu Babris Fish
Britz: Macrognathus aculeatus group
307
Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 20, No. 4
Market. – NRM 40566, 5; India: Assam: Brahmaputra
River drainage: Dibrugarh Market. – NRM 40555, 4;
India: Western Bengal: Kolkata: New Market, Jadu
Babris Fish Market. – NRM 18350, 1; India: Tamil Nadu:
Vagai River, Madurai. – SU 52965, 4; Nepal: Biratnagar
and vicinity; purchased at bazaar. – CAS 24255, 1; Pa-
kistan: Sindh province: Indus River basin: Indus River,
325 miles north of Karachi (i. e. 5 miles north of Sukkur).
– CAS 76437, 1; Pakistan.
M. meklongensis: 3 specimens: 93.5-175.7 mm SL.
NRM 24780, 1, holotype; NRM 24781, 2, paratypes;
Thailand: Khanchanaburi: Meklong River basin: Kwae
Noi River, Kao Lam Dam area, Tong Pha Phum.
M. pentophthalmos: MCZ 166239, 1, 195 mm SL;
Ceylon.
M. siamensis: 8 specimens, 88.5-193 mm SL. BMNH
1861.10.8.14, holotype; Thailand: Pachebore. – NRM
24786, 5; Mekong River drainage: Ubon Ratchatani
market (presumably caught in Mun River near Ubon
Ratchatani) – NRM 24787, 1; Cambodia: Song Vam Co
Tay drainage: about 100 km SE of Phnom Phenh, Svay
Rieng. – NRM 51047, 1; Viet Nam: Thin Can Tho prov-
ince, Can Tho City.
Acknowledgements
I am grateful to S. Kullander and E. Ahlander (NRM),
J. Williams (USNM) and D. Catania, (CAS) for access
to material under their care. P. Bartsch (ZMB), pro-
vided photos and radiographs of the Bloch specimens
of Macrognathus. I also thank S. Kullander, E. Ahlander,
Fang Fang, G. Fridriksson and the rest of the fish group
at the NRM for making my stays a very pleasant expe-
rience. I am deeply indebted to B. Kajrup (NRM) for
taking most of the radiographs and photographs of the
specimens, additional photographs were provided by
P. Hurst, Photo Unit, The Natural History Museum.
The collecting trips to Myanmar, during which speci-
mens of the new species were obtained, were finan-
cially sponsored by the Swedish Natural Science Re-
search Council (R-RA 04568-316) in 1998 and the col-
lection enhancement grant scheme of The Natural
History Museum, London, in 2007 and 2008. I am grate-
ful to U Khin Ko Lay, Director General, Department of
Fisheries, Ministry of Livestock Breeding & Fisheries,
Yangon, for permits. I thank U Tin Win, Hein Aquarium,
Yangon, for the gift of specimens of various Myanmar
species among which was one of the new Macrognathus.
Andrew Rao, Malabar Tropicals, Calcutta, and Keith
Lambert, Wildwoods, Crews Hill, made the specimens
of M. lineatomaculatus available. I am also grateful to
S. Kullander, NRM, for help and company in the field.
Most of the material for this manuscript was studied
and the first drafts written during visits to the NRM in
Sept. 2006, Jan. 2007, and Dec. 2008 funded by the Eu-
ropean Union through the SYNTHESYS program (grant
SE-TAF 1950 and SE-TAF 4895).
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des poissons. Tome huitième. Levrault, Paris, (1831
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Received 31 July 2009
Revised 3 November 2009
Accepted 12 November 2009
Britz: Macrognathus aculeatus group
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INSTRUCTIONS TO CONTRIBUTORS
Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters
An international journal for fi eld-orientated ichthyology
Articles appearing in this journal are indexed in:
AQUATIC SCIENCES and FISHERIES ABSTRACTS
BIOLIS - BIOLOGISCHE LITERATUR INFORMATION SENCKENBERG
CAMBRIDGE SCIENTIFIC ABSTRACTS
CURRENT CONTENTS/AGRICULTURE, BIOLOGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES and SCIE
FISHLIT
ZOOLOGICAL RECORD
C O N T E N T S
Moritz, Timo: Nannocharax signifer, a new species of fish (Characiformes: Distichodontidae)
from the Ouémé River basin, Benin......................................................................................... 289
Britz, Ralf: Species of the Macrognathus aculeatus group in Myanmar with remarks on
M. caudiocellatus (Teleostei: Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae) .................................... 295
Freyhof, Jörg and Müfit Özulug: Pseudophoxinus evliyae, a new species of spring minnow
from Western Anatolia with remarks on the distribution of P. ninae and the systematic
position of P. fahirae (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) .......................................................................... 309
Bohlen, Jörg and Vendula Šlechtová: Schistura udomritthiruji, a new loach from southern
Thailand (Cypriniformes: Nemacheilidae) ............................................................................. 319
Freyhof, Jörg and Müfit Özulug: Pseudophoxinus fahrettini, a new species of spring minnow
from Central Anatolia (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) ...................................................................... 325
Turan, Davut, Maurice Kottelat and Semih Engin: Two new species of trouts, resident and
migratory, sympatric in streams of northern Anatolia (Salmoniformes: Salmonidae) ... 333
Costa, Wilson J. E. M.: Rivulus megaroni, a new killifish from the Xingu River drainage,
southern Brazilian Amazon (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) ........................................... 365
Britz, Ralf and Maurice Kottelat: Pangio longimanus, a miniature species of eel-loach from
Central Laos (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitidae) .............................................................. 371
Harold, Antony S. and Norma J. Salcedo: Creagrutus yanatili, a new species from the Río
Urubamba drainage, southeastern Perú (Teleostei: Characidae) ........................................ 377
Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters
An international journal for fi eld-orientated ichthyology
Volume 20 • Number 4 • December 2009
Cover photograph:
Macrognathus dorsiocellatus (photograph by Ralf Britz)
Ralf Britz
(this volume pp. 295-308)
... The water depth in the active channel during summer seasons ranges from 0.5 m to 3 m. The riparian vegetation is more or less scanty; the common plant species along the bank includes Jerdon, 1849; Datta and Srivastava, 1988; Yazdani, 1990; Talwar and Jhingran, 1991; Arun Kumar and Tombi, 2000; Nath and Dey, 2000; Britz, 2010: Plamoottil and Abraham, 2013, 2014); of these Mastacembelus armatus, M. malabaricus, Macrognathus guentheri and M. fasciatus are found in the aquatic bodies of Kerala. The present fish can be included in the genus Macrognathus due to the possession of an elongated snout accommodating a concave prolongation of the upper jaw consisting of a paired series of tooth plates, rim of anterior nostril guarded by a six fimbriae, dorsal fin, with 26-30 dorsal fin spines, inserted fairly behind the end of pectoral fins and caudal fin distinctly separated from dorsal and anal fins. ...
Article
Full-text available
Taxonomic analysis of three specimens of Macrognathus collected from Manimala River reveals that they present several morphological differences from their congeners. The new species is diagnosed by a combination of the following characters: body dirty white without any bands or bars, eyes are closely set, spinous part of dorsal fin originating considerably behind the end of pectoral fin; pre orbital spine absent, 29 irregular blotches present on mid dorsal line from top of operculum to base of caudal. The new species is described and compared with its relatives.
... The ichthyofauna of the western slope of the Rahkine Yoma contains a large number of endemic species, including two species of Psilorhynchus (P. melissa and P. pavimentatus), and is frequently labeled as an area of high endemism for freshwater fishes (Kullander & Fang 2004;Britz 2007Britz 2010Ng 2008;Kullander & Fang 2009;Conway & Kottelat 2010). In contrast, species found on the eastern slopes of the Rakhine Yoma may have a wider distribution within Myanmar, but important baseline distribution data are still lacking. ...
Article
Psilorhynchus brachyrhynchus, new species, from the upper Ayeyarwaddy River drainage, northern Myanmar, is distinguished based on a combination of characters, including a short snout (43-48% HL), scale-less ventral surface between paired fins, and features of dorsal and caudal-fin pigmentation. Psilorhynchus piperatus, new species, from the eastern slopes of the Rakhine Yoma mountain range, lower Ayeyarwaddy River drainage, Myanmar, is distinguished based on its unique caudal-fin pigmentation. Psilorhynchus gokkyi, new species, also from the eastern slopes of the Rakhine Yoma mountain range, lower Ayeyarwaddy River drainage, Myanmar, is distinguished based on unique shape of its snout, which exhibits a deep notch at the level of the ethmoid region.
... Many recent papers have contributed to show that the short coastal streams of the western slope of the Rakhine Yoma mountain range in south-western Myanmar harbour a rich and highly endemic fish fauna (e.g., Britz, 2007Britz, , 2010 Conway & Kottelat, 2010; Kullander, 2015; Kullander & Fang, 2004, 2009a Ng, 2004). Still, only a fraction of the region has been surveyed and many species await description. ...
Article
Danio feegradei Hora is redescribed based on recently collected specimens from small coastal streams on the western slope of the Rakhine Yoma, ranging from the Thade River drainage southward to slightly north of Kyeintali. Danio absconditus, new species, is described from the Kyeintali Chaung and small coastal streams near Gwa, south of the range of D. feegradei. Both species are distinguished from other Danio by the presence of a dark, elongate or round spot at the base of the caudal fin and a cleithral marking composed of a small black spot margined by a much smaller orange spot. Danio feegradei is characterized by the colour pattern, with series of white spots along the otherwise dark side; D. absconditus by about 7--11 dark vertical bars on the abdominal side. Within Danio, the presence of a complete lateral line, cleithral spot, and 14 circumpeduncular scales is shared with D. dangila and similar species, but these character states may be plesiomorphic as suggested by the shared presence of cleithral spot and complete lateral line in Devario and Betadevario. In other Danio the cleithral spot is absent, the lateral line is short or absent, and the circumpeduncular scale count is lower (10-12). Twenty teleost species are reported from streams on the western slope of the Rakhine Yoma, all probably endemic. The parapatric distribution of D. absconditus and D. feegradei is unique within the genus, and may be partly explained by changes in eustatic sea levels.
... Eleven morphometric and eight meristic characteristics (Table 1) were taken (following Vreven & Teugels, 1996, using both specimens and radiographs, where appropriate. Pre-anal length is defined as the distance between the anus and the anterior end of the snout (rostral appendage folded downwards) and the post-anal length is the distance between the anus and the base of the caudal fin (Vreven & Teugels, 1996;Britz, 2009). Measurements involving snout to first/last dorsal spines were not used here as characteristics, as in the majority of specimens, the dorsal spines are below the skin, making these measurements unreliable and difficult to standardize. ...
Article
Full-text available
Pectoral fin loss is a dramatic evolutionary phenomenon that has occurred independently in different teleost lineages. Here, we report the first case of pectoral fin loss in the Mastacembelidae (Teleostei: Synbranchiformes), with the discovery of a new species of mastacembelid from Lake Tanganyika (LT), Mastacembelus apectoralis sp. nov. M. apectoralis can be distinguished from all other mastacembelid species by its complete loss of pectoral-fin rays, distal pectoral radials and pectoral radials, as well as a reduction in pectoral girdle elements that include smaller and less well-developed coracoid and minute scapular bones. Other distinguishing characteristics include a near absence of scales, lack of pigmentation and the presence of well-developed adductor muscles. A previous multigene phylogeny of mastacembelids placed M. apectoralis sp. nov. within the LT species flock, having diverged from its sister species Mastacembelus micropectus∼4.5 million years ago. M. micropectus also shows a reduction in the size of its pectoral fin and endoskeletal girdle, and has largely cartilaginous pectoral radials and a reduced number of pectoral-fin rays. Here, we compare the pectoral girdle of M. apectoralis and M. micropectus with LT and non-LT African mastacembelids. M. apectoralis is currently only known from its type locality, Cape Kachese, Zambia, where it occurs in sympatry with several other LT mastacembelids, including its sister species M. micropectus. The loss and reduction of pectoral fins and associated girdle elements in M. apectoralis represents another independent occurrence of this evolutionary phenomenon within the teleosts. The discovery of this species highlights the exceptional diversity of this biodiversity hotspot, the understanding of which is of critical importance with the pressures of pollution, overfishing and climate change threatening the speciose and evolutionarily significant diversity of this ancient lake.
Article
Full-text available
Background Inle (Inlay) Lake, an ancient lake of Southeast Asia, is located at the eastern part of Myanmar, surrounded by the Shan Mountains. Detailed information on fish fauna in and around the lake has long been unknown, although its outstanding endemism was reported a century ago. New information Based on the fish specimens collected from markets, rivers, swamps, ponds and ditches around Inle Lake as well as from the lake itself from 2014 to 2016, we recorded a total of 948 occurrence data (2120 individuals), belonging to 10 orders, 19 families, 39 genera and 49 species. Amongst them, 13 species of 12 genera are endemic or nearly endemic to the lake system and 17 species of 16 genera are suggested as non-native. The data are all accessible from the document “A dataset of Inle Lake fish fauna and its distribution (http://ipt.pensoft.net/resource.do?r=inle_fish_2014-16)”, as well as DNA barcoding data (mitochondrial COI) for all species being available from the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank (Accession numbers: LC189568–LC190411). Live photographs of almost all the individuals and CT/3D model data of several specimens are also available at the graphical fish biodiversity database (http://ffish.asia/INLE2016; http://ffish.asia/INLE2016-3D). The information can benefit the clarification, public concern and conservation of the fish biodiversity in the region.
Article
Macrognathus aureus, new species, from the upper Ayeyarwaddy River Drainage, northern Myanmar, is distinguished from all other species of the M. aculeatus species group by the following combination of characters: rostral tooth plates 8-10, dorsal-fin spines 21-22, and a unique colour pattern consisting of a series of large white-rimmed, dark-brown to black blotches along the dorsal fin and even larger blotches along the lateral line, of which some are confluent with the dorsal series.
Article
Full-text available
There are 3108 valid and named native fish species in the inland waters of Southeast Asia between the Irrawaddy and Red River drainages, the small coastal drainages between the Red River and Hainan, the whole Indochinese Peninsula, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Indonesia (excluding Papua Province, Waigeo, Aru [but Kai is included]), and the Philippines. They belong to 137 families. Their taxonomy and nomenclature are reviewed. The original descriptions of all 7047 recorded species-group names and 1980 genus-group names have been checked in the original works for correct spelling, types, type locality and bibliographic references. The bibliography includes about 4700 titles. Synonymies are given, based on published information as well as unpublished observations. The names of 49 introduced species and 347 extralimital taxa cited in the discussions have also been checked. The original descriptions of all species not present in the covered area but cited as type species of genera have been checked for availability, authorship, date and correct spelling. The availability of some family-group names has been checked when there was suspicion of possible nomenclatural problems. Bibliographic notes include new informations on the dates of publication of works by, among others, Bleeker, Bloch, Heckel and Steindachner and discussion of authorship of names in various works.
Article
Full-text available
Creagrutus yanatili, new species, is described from the Rio Urubamba drainage, southeastern Peru. It is most similar to C. peruanus, with which it occurs at one of the two known collecting localities, with respect to overall body form and meristic characters. Creagrutus yanatili differs from other Creagrutus species in the region and nearly all other Creagrutus species in the presence of very well developed papillae extending posterior of the head over most of the predorsal surface, and from all other described Creagrutus species in the presence of very dark, nearly black, pigmentation covering much of the body and fins, and the presence of both straight, needle-like and hook-like contact organs on the shafts of the anal-fin rays.
Article
Full-text available
Creagrutus yanatili, new species, is described from the Rio Urubamba drainage, southeastern Peru. It is most similar to C. peruanus, with which it occurs at one of the two known collecting localities, with respect to overall body form and meristic characters. Creagrutus yanatili differs from other Creagrutus species in the region and nearly all other Creagrutus species in the presence of very well developed papillae extending posterior of the head over most of the predorsal surface, and from all other described Creagrutus species in the presence of very dark, nearly black, pigmentation covering much of the body and fins, and the presence of both straight, needle-like and hook-like contact organs on the shafts of the anal-fin rays.
Article
Full-text available
Danio aesculapii, new species, is described from small rivers on the western slope of the Rakhine Yoma in south-western Myanmar. It is superficially similar to D. choprae from northern Myanmar in having a series of vertical bars anteriorly on the side, but differs from it and other species of Danio in having six instead of seven or more branched dorsal-fin rays, and from all other species of Danio except D. erythromicron and D. kerri in having 12 instead of 10 or 14 circumpeduncular scale rows.
Article
Full-text available
Pseudophoxinus evliyae, new species, from a small stream near Sogut, Western Anatolia, is distinguished from other Anatolian Pseudophoxinus by an incomplete lateral line, 54-64+2-3 scales in lateral series, 131/2-161/2 scales between lateral line and dorsal-fin origin, a prominent black stripe and a rounded snout and short head. This species vas previously identified as P. fahirae. Pseudophoxinus fahirae is tentatively placed in the genus Chondrostoma. Pseudophoxinus from Lake Burdur and Salda basins are re-examined and identified as P. ninae.
Article
Full-text available
Pseudophoxinus fahrettini, new species, from upper Kopru River drainage, Central Anatolia, is distinguished from other Anatolian Pseudophoxinus by a complete lateral line with 74-85+3-4 scales, the upper lip projecting beyond tip of lower lip, a prominent black stripe and a long snout and pointed head.
Article
Rivulus megaroni, new species, is described from the Xingu River drainage, southern Amazonas River basin, central Brazil. It is similar to other species of Melanorivulus endemic to the southern Amazonian tributaries of central Brazil by having a unique color pattern of flank in males, consisting of red marks arranged in a chevronlike pattern, in which the chevron vertex is placed on the ventral portion of the flank. The new species is distinguished from all other species sharing that color pattern by a combination of 34-36 scales in the longitudinal series, seven well-developed pelvic-fin rays, chevron marks of flank arranged as oblique bars, absence of red pigmentation on the tip of the lower jaw, a horizontal series of white spots on the dorsal portion of the caudal fin in females, and caudal fin pink in males.
Article
The highly specialized Asian mastacembelid genus Macrognathus, hitherto considered monotypic, comprises three morphologically distinct species with nearly contiguous ranges: M. aral, from the Indian subcontinent, including Sri Lanka and Burma; M. siamensis, from the Chao Phrya and Mekong basins of Thailand and Kampuchea, and the northernmost part of the Malay peninsula; and M. aculeatus, from the southern Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and Java. The species differ sharply in number of rostral toothplates and other meristic characters as well as in coloration. The specific status of M. aculeatus from Java, and that of M. dhanashorii from Assam (placed here as a synonym of M. aral), should be reconsidered when adequate study material becomes available. Mastacembelidae form two groups, possibly phyletic, based on structure of the rim of the anterior nostril. All or almost all African Mastacembelus and several Asian species (usually the larger species, including M. mastacembelus) have the nostril rim with two flaps and two fimbriae, whereas Macrognathus and several smaller species of Asian Mastacembelus (including M. pancalus and M. circumcinctus) have the nostril rim with six fimbriae.
Article
Two hundred and twelve fish species are recorded from the Kapuas Lakes Area (western Borneo). One hundred and forty six species are definitively recorded from within Danau Sentarum National Park (DSNP) boundaries; 43 (29 %) of them have been recorded for the first time during the present survey. Eleven species new to science have been discovered and nine additional species are either new or require further study before their identity can be cleared. Taxonomy of Chitala, Scleropages and Parachela are briefly discussed. The published data do not justify recognising more than one Southeast Asian species of Scleropages. Macrognathus tapirus is proposed as a new replacement name for Mastacembelus paucispinis Fowler, 1939. A neotype is designated for Ophidium aculeatum Bloch. A large number of fish species migrate upriver to headwaters or downriver to the Kapuas main river at some time of the year; in addition there are lateral movements between the rivers and lakes and the flooded forest during the wet season.
Article
Garra propulvinus, G. vittatula, G. rakhinica, G. flavatra and G. nigricollis are described from the western slope of the Rakhine Yoma, and G. spilota and G. poecilura from the eastern slope (Irrawaddy drainage). Garra propulvinus is distinguished by the linear arrangement of snout tubercles restricted to the rostral lobe, and the shape of the central pad of the lower lip, which is widest posteriorly. Garra vittatula is distinguished by its slender body shape and a distinct lateral band. Garra spilota is unique in the genus with a color pattern including a row of dark blotches along the side. Garra flavatra is unique in the genus with a contrasted pattern of dark brown vertical bars with yellowish interspaces. Garra rakhinica is similar to G. flavatra but grayish with a dark blotch at the end of the caudal peduncle and fins uniform. Garra poecilura has a distinctive pattern of black stripes and spots in the dorsal and caudal fins like G. flavatra, but does not have the distinct vertical bars of that species. Garra nigricollis is distinguished by a black band marking off the posterior margin of the head, and is distinguished among Rakhine Yoma Garra species for higher meristics (e.g., 33 vs. 27-31 lateral line scales) and larger size (to 128 mm SL vs. 76 mm SL).
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Channa ornatipinnis, new species, from Waloun Chaung, northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, differs from all its congeners by a unique colour pattern that consists of numerous large black spots on the cheeks, golden-orange lips, a red posterior rim of the opercular flap, five to seven narrow alternating white and dark brown to black semicircular bands on the pectoral fin, three dorsal fin blotches, and red and bluish-grey scales with numerous black spots on the body. Channa pulchra, new species, from Kyeintali Chaung, southern Rakhine State, Myanmar, is also distinguished by a unique colour pattern consisting of numerous small black spots on the cheek and body, usually four semicircular white bands on the pectoral fin, one anterior dorsal fin blotch, and a series of reddish-orange blotches and numerous black spots on the body.