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Punitus Sanctus: New Freshwater Fish

  • 26 May 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, Puntius Sanctus, a new freshwater fish, has been found in Velankanni, Tamil Nadu. It has been found in a small waterbody.

  • The fish has been identified and named by the Department of Zoology, BJM Government College in Kollam. Sanctus means holy (pilgrim town) in Latin.
  • Species of Puntius are known from India mainly from the drainages of the Western and Eastern Ghats, as well as the Eastern Himalayas.

Key Points

  • Puntius Genus:
    • The genus shows great species richness in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
    • The Puntius species are known locally as Paral in kerala and Kende in Tamil Nadu.
    • It belongs to the family ‘Cyprinidae’.
  • Puntius Sanctus:
    • It is a silver-hued fish. The species is small in size and grows to a length of 7 cm.
    • It is different from other species.
      • It has a protractible (extended) mouth, a pair of maxillary barbels (a sensory organ near the snout).
      • It bears lateral line scales and pre-dorsal scales.
        • The lateral line scales are found within the dermis i.e. under the skin of a fish and usually have sense organs.
        • The dorsal scale row in a fish consists of a series of deep scales devoid of spines.
  • Cyprinidae:
    • It is the family of freshwater fish, collectively called cyprinids, that includes the minnows, goldfish, bitterlings, barbs, and carps.
    • It ranges from small aquarium sized species to huge fish.
    • Freshwater fish are those that spend some or all of their lives in freshwater, such as rivers and lakes, with a salinity of less than 1.05%. E.g. Rohu, Katla, Hilsa etc.
  • The new fish has been deposited in the Zoological Survey of India at Pune.
  • It has also been registered with Zoo Bank of the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature, the official authority for naming animals.

Zoological Survey of India

  • It is a subordinate organization of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and was established in 1916.
  • It is a national centre for faunistic survey and exploration of the resources leading to the advancement of knowledge on the exceptionally rich faunal diversity of the country.
  • It has its headquarters at Kolkata and 16 regional stations located in different geographic locations of the country.

International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature

  • It regulates a uniform system of zoological nomenclature ensuring that every animal has a unique and universally accepted scientific name.
  • It creates and revises the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.
  • It is based in the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore.

Source: TH

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