IMPHAL, March 18 - A new freshwater fish species �Pethia poiensis� has been discovered by a research team of Manipur University�s Department of Life Sciences (Fishery unit) fromChallou river in Ukhrul district bordering Myanmar.
Researcher Bungdon Shangningam said they have submitted the paper sometime back but it was accepted as a new species only last month following a thorough examination by the reviewers (International subject experts).
This thumb size fish species is locally known as Ngakha macha in Manipur.
The species is named after Poi, a small hilly village in Ukhrul district where the Challou river flows, acknowledging the help extended by villagers, Shangningam, a post doctorate fellow at Zoological Survey of India(ZSI) in Kolkata, added.
The London-based International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, which provides and regulates a uniform system of zoological nomenclature ensuring that every animal has a unique and universally accepted scientific name, declared the fish species as new to the world last month, according to Prof W Vishwanath, member of IUCN�s fresh water fish specialist group who guided the researcher.
Of the 14 valid species of Pethia recognised from the Chindwin-Irrawaddy drainage, Pethia poiensis is easily distinguished from others. The new species was also compared with other eight Pethias occurring in the neighbouring Ganga-Brahmaputra drainage. But it is distinct from the species of the Ganga-Brahmaputra except P shalynius in having a black longitudinal stripe along the mid-lateral body, the scientific paper on the new fish species said.
With this, Shangningam had so far discovered 10 new fish species, namely, Psilorhynchus maculates from Challou river; Garra namyaensi, Garra cornigera and Garra trilobata from Namya river, Ukhrul district; Psilorhynchus chakpiensis from Chakpi river in Chandel district; Psilorhynchus ngathanu and Schistura phamhringi from Duta stream, Chandel; Psilorhynchus konemi from Dujang stream, Chandel, all under Chindwin basin of Manipur except Olyra parviocula from Kameng river in Arunachal Pradesh under Brahmaputra basin.
Interestingly, the last species � Olyra parviocula, a normal pen size catfish variety was also discovered by ZSI scientists Laishram Kosygin, Bungdon Shangningam and KC Gopi during a joint exploration in Arunachal Pradesh this year.