A new species of channid fish, genus Channa , is described from four specimens collected from the Brahmaputra River basin at Dibrugarh, Assam, lndia. The new species, Channa aurantimaculata , is distinguished from all other channid species by the combination of 45-47 dorsal fin rays, 28-30 anal fin rays, 51-54 lateral line scales, 8-12 cheek scales, 50-52 total vertebrae, two large scales on each side of lowerjaw undersurface, the upper half of body darkish brown to black with 7 or 8 large orange (white in alcohol-preserved specimens) irregular blotches and 5 broad vivid vertical black bands on the pectoral fins with a black blotch at the base. In addition, a neotype is designated and a redescription given for C. amphibeus (McClelland, 1845).
The family Channidae contains 26 species, 23 occurring in Asia and the rest in Africa (Bonou and Teugels, 1985; Musikasinthorn, 1998). Currently, the Asian species are assigned to the genus Channa Scopoli, 1777 , and the African species to the genus Parachanna Teugels and Daget, 1984 (Teugels, 1992, Nelson, 1994). While the latter are well diagnosed, those of Channa are still subject to confusion.
From 26 March to 15 April 1998, a field survey was made by the author in Assam State, one of the four principal areas of faunal and floral endemism on the Indian sub-continent (others being the western Ghats, and western and eastern Himalayas) (Rao, 1974; Kurup, 1974; Thirgood and Heath, 1994-, Kottelat and Whitten, 1996). This region, especially the northern part, is characterised by its humid "tropical rain forest" environment (rainfall 2, 480 mm per year with year-round precipitation) in contrast with the dry "savanna" climate covering most of the rest of the Indian sub-continent (Ramdas, 1974, Collins et al., 1991; Bailey, 1996). During the survey, an unnamed channid species, being sort of the most colorful members of the family, was collected from Dibrugarh, northern Assam. It is described herein as new. Additionally, a neotype is designated and a redescription given for the often confused species C. amphibeus , which is superficially similar to some other channid species, including the new species, distributed in the same river basin.
Methods for counts, measurements and nomenclature of the suprabranchial organ followed Musikasinthorn (1998). Fin rays were counted with a binocular microscope or taken from radiographs. Vertebral counts, including the urostyle, were taken from radiographs. The suprabranchial organ was examined in a dissected specimen. Institutional codes followed Leviton et al. (1985), except for the Biodiversity Museum, Gauhati University, Assam (GUBM), Institute for Breeding Research, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo (IBRP), Southern Regional Station, Zoological Survey of lndia, Madras (ZSI-SRS) and Eastern Regional Station, Zoological Survey of lndia, Meghalaya (ZSI-V/ERS and ZSIV/F/ERS).
Holotype . KUMF 3135, 190.8 mm standard length (SL), market at Dibrugarh town, Dibrugarh, Assam, lndia, 12 April 1998, P Musikasinthorn.
|Fig.1: Channa aurantimaculata sp. nov., holotype, KUMF 3135, 190.8mm SL, market at Dibrugarh town, Dibrugarh, Assam, India.|
Paratype . KUMF 3136, 163.7 mm SL, stream in Medela Reserve Forest, Dibrugarh, Assam, India, 1-7 April 1998, K. K. Lahkar and P. Musikasinthorn; NSMT-P 55735 (1) (dissected), 190.7 mm SL, data as for KUMF 3136; ZSI uncataloged, 132.0 mm SL, data as for KUMF 3136.
A species of Channa distinguishable from all other channid species by the following combination of characters: dorsal fin rays 45-47; anal fin rays 28-30; lateral line scales 51-54; cheek scales 8-12; total vertebrae 50-52; two large scales on each side of lower jaw undersurface ( Fig. 2 ); pelvic fin length less than 50% of pectoral fin length; upper half of body dark brown to black with 7 or 8 large irregular orange (white in alcohol-preserved specimens) blotches; pectoral fins with a black blotch at base and 5 vertical broad vivid black bands.
|Fig.2. Ventral view of head of Channa aurantimaculata sp. nov. (paratype, KUMF 3136, 163.7 mm SL) showing two large scales on each side of the lower jaw (dotted regions) and cephalic sensory pores (in black). Scale bar indicates 10.0 mm.|
Frequency distributions of counts and measurements are given in Tables 1 and 2 , respectively.
Dorsal fin rays 45-47. Anal fin rays 28-30. Pectoral fin rays 15 or 16. Pelvic fin rays 6. Principal caudal fin rays 14. Total vertebrae 50-52, precaudal+ caudal=45-48+4 or 5. Cheek scales 8-12. Lateral line scales 51-54. Scale rows above lateral line 4.5 or 5.5, below lateral line 11 or 12. Circumpeduncular scales 25-28. Predorsal scales 13-15. Lateral line scales dropping one row following 15-17th anteriormost scales. Two large scales on each side of lower jaw undersurface ( Fig. 2 ). Cephalic sensory pores sin gle, without satellite openings ( Fig. 2 ).
Body elongated, relatively slender, cross-section almost circular in anterior portion, somewhat compressed posteriorly. Body depth greatest at insertion of dorsal fin. Body width greatest at insertion of pectoral fin. Dorsal and anal fin bases long (65.0-67.5% and 40.1-41.8% SL, respectively). Pelvic fin short (7.6-8.5% SL), length less than 50% of pectoral fin length, not reaching anal fin. Outer margins of pectoral and caudal fins rounded.
Head elongated (31.0-32.8% SL). Snout broad, rounded. Interorbital region almost flat. Orbit not reaching dorsal contour of head in lateral view. Mouth large (44.6-45.9% HL), maxilla extending clearly beyond posterior margin of eye.
Dentition . - Many small conical teeth embedded in premaxilla, an additional series of somewhat larger conical teeth embedded anteromedially. Some small teeth and 3 large conical teeth on prevomer. A row of variously-sized conical teeth with 7 or 8 large caninelike teeth on each side of palatine. A row of small to medium-sized conical teeth on each side of dentary, irregulary interspersed with 5 or 6 large canine-like teeth. Many small conical teeth on outer portion of anterior region of dentary.
|Fig.3. Suprabranchial organs (right side) of Channa aurantimaculata sp. nov. (paratype NSMT-P 55735, 190.7 mm SL). Scale bar indicates 5.0 mm.|
Morphology of suprabranchial organ ( Fig.3 ). Inner surface of suprabranchial chamber generally smooth. Surface structure of epibranchial respiratory fold and hyomandibular process generally simplified except for many tiny projections on lower portions of both. Top of epibranchial respiratory fold indented, middle portion constricted. Hyomandibular process expanded, dorsoventrally elongated with a dorsomedial notch, and stalked almost at a right angle from inner surface of gill cover. Hyomandibular process almost completely supported by part of hyomandibular bone.
|Fig.4. Type locality of Channa aurantimaculata sp. nov (star). Dotted area indicates Assam State, India. Broken lines indicate national boundaries|
Coloration . In life: Dorsal side of body dark brown to black, ventral side whitish. Seven or eight large irregular orange blotches on upper half of body, with several smaller, and very pale orange blotches between former in some specimens. Lower lateral side of body yellow, golden or orange, becoming blue ventrally. Small irregularly-shaped black spots scattered ventrolaterally on body. Five black vertical bands on pectoral fins, vivid orange between bands. Pectoral fin base blue with a black medium to largesized blotch. Pelvic fin rays gray, membranes white. Dorsal and anal fins blackish-orange basally and blackish to black distally. Many small laterally elongated black spots on dorsal and anal fin membranes, forming 3-4 band-like rows, especially posteriorly. Caudal fin background generally blackish-orange, with 3 or 4 black bandlike rows anteriorly. Dorsal and lateral side of head dark brown to black, greenishblue to blue between scales. Lower lateral portion of gill cover orange to yellow. Ventral side of head whitish with many small to mediumsized irregular black blotches. Gill membrane blackish. In alcohol: Similar to fresh coloration, but all formerly orange, yellow and golden areas white, and greenish and bluish colors lost.
The new species is known only from the Brahmaputra River basin at Dibrugarh, northern Assam, India ( Fig.3 ).
The specific name, , aurantimaculata , is a Latin adjective refering to the orange blotches (aurantium= orange, maculatus =blotch) on sides of the body in the new species.
Channa aurantimaculata is superficially similar to C. barca (Hamilton, 1822) , C. stewartii (Playfair, 1867) and C. amphibeus (McClelland, 1845) (often misspelled as Channa amphibius ), all of which were originally described from the same river basin (the Brahmaputra) and are presently considered valid, in body size (ca. 250-900mm in total length), overall body appearance, head shape (generally rounded in lateral view), pelvic fin length (less than 50 % of pectoral fin length) and coloration (numerous small black spots scattered on body) ( Hamilton  ; Playfair  ; Shaw and Shebbeare ; Talwar and Jhingran ; present study). widely-distributed South Asian species, in the following characters: relatively narrow, pointed snout, pelvic fin length always more than 50% of pectoral fin length, a large scale on each side of the lower jaw, irregular black blotches along the sides of the body, and irregular small black spots ventrally on the body and on all fins. Furthermore, the two species are similar to each other in the morphology of the suprabranchial organ ( Fig. 4 ): the surfaces of the epibranchial respiratory fold and hyomandibular process are generally simple, and the hyomandibular process is almost completely supported by part of the hyomandibular bone.
C. barca , C. stewartii and C. amphibeus can be distinguished from C. aurantimaculata by lateral line scale, and dorsal and anal fin ray counts ( Table 3 ), as well as by the absence of large orange blotches (white in preserved specimens). The black vertical bands on the pectoral fin are very vivid, the orange colored regions between them also being clear in C. aurantimaculata ( Fig. 1 ), whereas the bands are less vivid, thinner and obscure on the posterior portion of the pectoral fin in C. barca and C. stewartii , and absent in C. amphibeus (in similarly-sized specimens). As the taxonomic status of C. amphibeus has been unclear in the literature, a redescription of the species is provided here along with designation of a neotype ( see below ).
C. aurantimaculata can also be distinguished readily from all other channid fishes presently considered as valid, as noted below: from C. argus (Cantor, 1842 , C. bankanensis (Bleeker, 1852) , C. baramensis (Steindachner, 1901) , C. lucius (Cuvier, 1831) , C. cyanospilos (Bleeker, 1853) , C. maculata (Lacepède, 1801), C. marulius (Hamilton, 1822) , C marulioides (Bleeker, 1851) , C. melanopterus (Bleeker, 1855) , C. melasoma (Bleeker, 1851) , C. micropeltes (Cuvier, 1831) , C. pleurophthalmus (Bleeker, 1851) ), , C. siamensis (Günther, 1861) 1 and C. striata (Bloch, 1793) by the presence of two large scales on each side of the lower jaw undersurface ( Fig. 2 ) (vs. absence); from C. asiatica (Linnaeus, 1758) , C. bleheri Vierke, 1991 , and C. orientalis Bloch and Schneider, 1801 by the presence of pelvic fins (vs. absence); from C. gachua (Hamilton, 1822) , C. panaw Musikasinthorn, 1998 and C. punctata (Bloch, 1793 ) by 8-12 cheek scales (vs. 4-7 [usually 5]); and from all species of the genus Parachanna by 51-54 lateral line scales (vs. 65-86) ( for C. panaw and C. punctata, data from Musikasinthorn  , and for Parachanna, from Bonou and Teugels ).
Field surveys by the author in Assam indicated the distribution of C. aurantimaculata to be restricted to the northern part of that region, distinguished from the southern part by a rain forest environment (Collins et al. ; World Conservation Monitoring Centre [1992: 2761). Locals experienced in collecting C. aurantimaculata stated that the species usually inhabited forest streams, swamps and ponds connected with the Brahmaputra River. It is possible that in lowland areas of Assam, C. aurantimaculata survives in the discontinuous "patches" of rain forest present (see Collins [1991: 132-133]; World Conservation Monitoring Centre [1992: 2761). Local fish sellers also stated that C. aurantimaculata (locally called "naga-cheng") grows to at least 400 mm in total length.
Of the nine species of channid fishes presently known to be distributed in the Brahmaputra River basin, viz. Channa amphibeus , C. aurantimaculata , C. barca , C. bleheri , C. gachua , C. marulius , C. punctata , C. stewartii and C. striata (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991; Vierke, 1991 ; present paper), three ( C. amphibeus , C. aurantimaculata , and C. bleheri ) are considered endemic to that basin.
|Fig.5. Channa amphibeus (McClelland, 1845), neotype, ZSI F11435/1, 184.6 mm SL.|
C. amphibeus was originally described by McClelland (1845) from the Chail (=?Chel) River basin (Teesta [=Tista] river drainage), in the Brahmaputra basin at the foot of the Boutan (=Bhutan) mountains. In the original description, some meristics, morphometrics and coloration were noted, but no scale counts, lengths or number of specimens examined were given (all characters comparable with other species are shown in Table 3 ). Such meristics that were provided did not agree with those shown in a drawing of the species in McClelland (1840), which he originally identified as Ophiocephalus barca Hamilton, 1822 (= Channa barca ). In McClelland's (1845) subsequent description of the species as C. amphibeus , which name he then applied to his earlier drawing, no type specimens were designated (Although several searches for the "type" material[s] of C. amphibeus were conducted by me in the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta [ZSI] [in 1996 and 1998] and the Natural History Museum, London [BMNHJ [in 1996], institutions most likely to house such, none were found). Thus a problem was apparent owing to the strong likelihood that the original description and earlier drawing were either based on different specimens or indeed species, or that the drawing was inaccurate. Later, C. amphibeus was treated as a junior synonym of C. barca by Day (1876) , who described some features of a specimen stated to be "the type" of C. amphibeus ( meristics shown in Table 3 ). Shaw & Shebbeare (1938) subsequently resurrected C. amphibeus based on specimens collected from the vicinity of the Chel River given on previous page. One of their specimens, ZSI F 11435/1 ( Fig. 5 , ), was examined in the present study. Recently, Talwar and Jhingran (1991) also treated C. amphibeus as a valid species.
Because of the disagreement between the earlier description and the original drawing, and the absence of type material(s) of C. amphibeus , it is not possible to determine the identity of C. amphibeus sensu stricto.
Accordingly, as first revisor, I herein designate ZSI F 11435/1 ( Fig. 5 ) as a neotype for C. amphibeus , for the following reasons: 1) although there exists a difference in scale counts above and below the lateral line (which can vary by method and position of counting), ZSI F11435/1 and "the type" of C. amphibeus examined by Day (1876) are very similar in their lateral scale counts ( Table 3 ); 2) ZSI F 11435/1 and the original description do not differ markedly in dorsal, anal and pectoral fin ray counts, as well as in the number of "alternately dark and whitish transverse bars on the sides" (24 in the original description-see Table 3 ); 3) ZSI F 11435/1 was collected in the same general vicinity as the specimen(s) upon which the original description was based.
Furthermore, it is clear that the three similar species, C. barca , C. stewartii and C. aurantimaculata , can be distinguished not only from the neotype of C. amphibeus (ZSI F11435/1), but also from the original description, earlier drawing and "type" of C. amphibeus observed by Day (1876) by dorsal and anal fin ray and lateral line scale counts, presence of vertical black bands on the pectoral fin and number of "alternately dark and whitish transverse bars on the sides" ( Table 3 ).
Neotype. ZSI F 11435/1, 184.6mm SL, Northern Bengal, G. E. Shaw & E. O. Shebbeare.
A species of Channa distinguishable from all other channid species by the following combination of characters: dorsal fin rays 50; anal fin rays 35; lateral line scales 81; cheek scales 9; two large scales on each side of lower jaw undersurface; head length 27.6% SL, depth 50.4% HL, 13.9% SL; postorbital head depth 50.4% HL; upper jaw length 48.4% HL, 11.3% SL; ventral fin length less than 50% of pectoral fin length; upper and lower lips laterally flattened, with several narrow dark vertical bands; no bands or spots on pectoral fin; 11 dark vertical bands on upper half of body.
Measurements given in Table 4 . Dorsal fin rays 50. Anal fin rays 35. Pectoral fin rays 15. Pelvic fin rays 6. Principal caudal fin rays (upper/lower) 7/4+? (damaged). Cheek scales 9. Lateral line scales 81. Scale rows above lateral line 5.5, below lateral line 13. Circumpeduncular scales 3 1. Predorsal scales 17. Lateral line running almost parallel with body axis, descending anteriorly. Two large scales on left side of lower jaw undersurface (right side, not able to be observed [scales seem to be concealed under skin]). Cephalic sensory pores single, without satellite openings. Body elongated, cross-section almost circular in anterior portion, compressed posteriorly. Body depth greatest at insertion of anal fin. Body width greatest at insertion of pectoral fin. Dorsal and anal fin bases long (72.0% and 47.1% SL, respectively). Pelvic fins short (6.5% SL), length less than 50% of pectoral fin length, not reaching anal fin. Outer margins of pectoral and caudal fins rounded. Head relatively small (27.6% SL). Head and snout rounded in lateral view. Snout somewhat pointed in dorsal view. Interorbital region somewhat swollen. Orbit not reaching dorsal contour of head in lateral view. Mouth large, maxilla extending far beyond the posterior margin of eye (upper jaw length 48.4% HL, 13.4% SL). Upper and lower lips laterally flattened. (Vertebrae not counted.)
Dentition . - Many small conical teeth embedded in premaxilla. Three large conical teeth embedded in prevomer. About 4 medium-sized canine-like teeth on each side of palatine. A row of about 5 canine-like teeth, somewhat smaller than those of palatine, on each side of the inner portion of dentary. Many small conical teeth on outer portion of dentary.
Morphology of suprabranchial organ . - not observed.
Coloration . - In alcohol: Body uniformly light brown, ventral surface whitish. Eleven vertical brown bars on upper half of body, extending below lateral line. Brown color emphasized at bar tips on or just above lateral line, giving the appearance of brown blotches and clusters of small brown spots on the anterior and posterior halves of the body, respectively. Dorsal, anal, pectoral and pelvic fin membranes brown to dark brown. Caudal fin membrane very dark brown. Edges of dorsal, anal and caudal fins whitish.
Dorsal surface of head brown with numerous irregularlyshaped, scattered dark brown spots extending on to lateral and ventral side surfaces. Dark brown reticulation anterior to posterior margin of eye. Upper and lower lips with several narrow dark brown bands (about 9 on left side of upper lip).
In life: According to Shaw & Shebbeare (1938: 121) : Body ground-color blue when viewed obliquely and iridescent green when viewed at angles to the surface; pectoral fin deep orange; upper lip bright blue with rich brown; pelvic fin blue; basal half of the dorsal fin brown or orange, the outer half blue or green, darkening outwards but having a narrow pale blue or white edge; anal fin iridescent blue or green with a narrow dark border; caudal fin brown at the base, then iridescent blue or green then blackish with a narrow white or bluish-white border; margins of the vertical bands on body orange with brown; dark spots scattered on the upper half of the body but absent at the belly (see description and a color drawing in Shaw & Shebbeare  for details ).
Channa amphibeus is known only from the Chel River basin, in the Brahmaputra River drainage of northeastern India and Bhutan.
The following key is based on materials collected from the Ganges-Brahmaputra River basin. Single asterisk (*) indicates species endemic to that basin. Double asterisks (**) indicate species restricted only to the Brahmaputra River basin.
1 or 2 large scales on each side of lower jaw
Scale absent on lower jaw
Channa argus : ASIZB 44263 (1), 142.4mm SL, Baiyang Dian Lake, Hebei, China, 19 Aug. 1958; NSMT-P 55738 (1), 288.3 mm SL, market at Sichuan, China, August 1996; MCZ 32411 (1 of 3), 362.6 mm SL, Chanka Lake (Ussuri River basin), East Siberia, U. S. S. R., 1929. C. asiatica : KIZ 60233 (1), 139.9mm SL, Nanpan R., China, 1960; KIZ 845014 (1), Nanning, China, April 1984; NSMT-P 27573 (1), 110.4mm SL, Taiwan, 26 August 1975. C. bankanensis : RMNH 7870 (2), 103.4-120.8 mm SL, Sintang, western Borneo, Indonesia, July 1894; NSMT-P 54031 (2), 132.5-140.5, Martapura, south Borneo, Indonesia, 9 Nov. 1963. C. baramensis : SMF 860 (lectotype) (1), 218.7mm SL, Ind. Ozean, Borneo, Baram Fluß 1894; SMF 8473 (paralectotype) (1),102.5, data as for lectotype; FMNH 51702 (3), 106.2-169.3 turn SL, Clear water tributary of Little Kretam R. below falls, Kinabatangan District, Sabah, Borneo, I I May, 1950. C. barca : AMS B. 7793 (1), 237,7mm SL, Calcutta, date unknown; BMNH 1860. 3. 19. 17 (1), 207.3 mm SL, Calcutta. date unknown; RMNH 1663 (1), 220.3, Calcutta, date unknown; ZSI 1387 (1), 260.7mm SL, Calcutta, date unknown; ZSI 2705/1 (1), 240.2 mm SL, Bulagunj, Sylhet, date unknown; ZSI 9999 (1), 238.3 mm SL, India; ZSI 378 (1), 233.1 mm SL, Cachar, Assam, date unknown; GUBM uncat. (1), 447.7, Marigoan Market, Guwahati, Assam, India, Oct.-Nov. 1997; MNHN A. 628 (1)(holotype of Ophicephalus [ =Channa] nigricans), 200.5 mm SL, Calcutta, date unknown. C. bleheri : ZFMK 16555 (holotype) (1), 105.0mm SL, upper reaches of Dibru R., near Guijan, Assam, 12 and 13 Nov. 1987; ZFMK 16556 (paratype), 80.9 mm SL, data as for holotype; KUMF 3137 (8), streams in Medela Reserve Forest, Dibrugarh, Assam, India, 1-7 April 1998. C. cyanospilos : ZRC 14252 (1), 166.8 nun SL, Sungai Wumbih, tributary of Sungai Alas, southern Aceh, Rundeng, northern Sumatra, 21 Feb. 1984. C. gachua : ANSP 159636 (1), 78.5mm SL, Bishnuputi R., Kathmandu, at Ring Road, Nepal 18 June 1983; UMMZ 208577 (1), 123.9mm SL, Dakatia River at Char Masha, Comilla, Bangladesh, 3 Jan. 1978; CAS 135602 (5), 64.4-132.3 mm SL, Uttarbhag, Ganges Delta, India, 14 April 1937; UMMZ 208997 (1), 55.4mm SL, Tangam R. at Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Bangladesh, 6 April 1978; ZMA 121. 643 (6), 50.0-147.1 mm SL, Balassang River near Kurseong, West Bengal, India, Dec. 1898; ZSI-SRS 4781 (1), 78.6 mm SL, Dubri, Lower Assam, India, 30 Nov. 1994; ZSI-V/ERS 75 (1), 90.25 mm SL, Barapani, Shillong, Assam, India, 15 June 1961; ZSI- V/ERS 1324 (1), 215.9mm SL, Songsak Res, forest, Garo Hills, Meghalaya, India, 15 April 1973; CAS 114535 (6), 56.0-72.8 mm SL, Kalimpong Duars and Siliguli Terai, Tista R. drainage, Terai, West Bengal, India, Nov. 1938; CAS 50211 (5 of 6), 55.397,0mm SL, Chitawan Valley, 1-2 miles (1.6-3.2 kms) south of Khoriamohan in Someswar Hills (Hathimara Khola), Nepal, 29 April 1975; KUMF 3148 (3), 74.0-84.1 mm SL, market at Shillong, Meghalaya, India, 4 April 1998; ZSI-V/ERS 8043 (2 of 3), Thabrongiri, West Garo Hills, Meghalaya, India, 28 Aug. 1983; ZSI-V/F/ERS 99 (2 of 18), 88.2-108.5mm SL, Thanga Island, Horeng Moureny, Manipur, India, 9 Feb. 1993. C. lucius : RMNH 1138 (stuffed) (1), 213.9 mm SL, Java, date unknown (collection of Kuhl and van Hasselt); RMNH 1140 (stuffed) (1), 411.8 mm SL, data as for RMNH 113 8; UMMZ 223283 (6), 129.0-229.0 mm SL, stream at confluence of Keijin R. (Baram R. drainage), Sarawak, Malaysia, I I Feb. 1980. C. maculata : AMNH 79470 (2), 144.9 163.9 nun SL, Guangdong, China, Aug. 1925; CAS 118299 (1), 238.2 mm SL, Taipei, Taiwan, 1908. C. marulius : CAS 135719 (1), 221.0mm SL, Calcutta, West Bengal State, India, 8 April 1937; UMMZ 187867 (1 of 2), 232.6mm SL, Pond at Hajiganj, Comilla, Bangladesh, 24 May 1968; UMMZ 208567 (1),187.2mm SL, Kamchar Khal, Comilla, Bangladesh, 11 Jan. 1978; BMNH 89. 2. 1. 3791-6 (8), 57.0-108.0 mm SL, Calcutta; NSMT-P 47709 (1), 134.1 mm SL, Chandpur, Bangladesh, 1971; NSMT-P 58526 (1), 255.1 mm SL, Ganga R., India, date unknown; KUMF 3143 (2), 205.6284.85 turn SL, Dharapur Market, Guwahati, Assam, 27 March8 April 1998; NSMT-P 58527 (1), 455.4mm SL, Tarai, Nepal, July 1997; KUMF 3147 (4), 162.2-192.7mm SL, a road side market on the way between Diamond Harbour and Calcutta, West Bengal, 8 Jan. 1996; NSMT-P 58528 (3), 237.5267.6mm SL, market at Calcutta, West Bengal, Jan. 1996; NSMT-P 58529 (1), 430.5mm SL, data as for NSMT-P 58528. C. marulioides : RMNH 6421 (holotype) (1), 217.0mm SL, Sambas, western Borneo, date unknown; ZMA 121.117 (2), 152.8-194.4mm SL, Rawang Swamp, Djambi, Sumatra, Indonesia, 29 April 1909. C. melanopterus: RMNH 6416 (Holotype) (1), 476.3mm SL, Pontianak, western Borneo, date unknown. C. melasoma : CAS 132652 (7), 74.5-214.4 mm SL, Mandai Road, Singapore, 14 May 1937. C. micropeltes : RMNH 2318 (stuffed) (1), 592.6mm SL, Java, date unknown (collection of Kuhl and van Hasselt); RMNH 1131 (stuffed) (1), 214.1 turn SL, data as for RMNH 2318; RMNH 1132 (stuffed) (1), 250.4mm SL, data as for RMNH 2318; NSMT-P 35969 (12), 164.7-215.6mm SL, Ratchaprapa Dam, Suratthani, Thailand, Oct. 1992. C. orientalis : ZMB 5029 (6), 59.779.9mm SL, Rumboddi, Ceylon, date unknown; USNM 332536 (1), 81.6 mm SL, Trib. to Kuda Ganga, 3.3 mi. east of Agalawatta on Road to Badureli Ya, Agalawatta District, Sri Lanka, 7 July 1969. C. pleurophthalmus : RMNH 6422 (Holotype), 287.9mm SL, Bandjermassing, Borneo, Indonesia, date unknown; ANSP 167385 (1), 225.8 mm SL, Kapuas R., western Borneo, 1897; UMMZ 171681 (3), 150.2-186.1 mm SL, Palembang, Sumatra, 1929. C. punctata : ZMB 1394 (Syntypes) (2), 107.5-152.0mm SL, Malabarischen Küste (Malabar coast), India, date unknown; NSMT-P 47541, 92.9104.3mm SL, (4), Koshi River, Nepal, July 1968; ZSI FF 3182 (1), 90.4mm SL, Jarakat village, 12 kms west of Charjh, Hazanibugh District, Bihar, India, 12 June 1994; ZSI-SRS F 4644 (2), 75.5-98.0mm SL, Goalpara, Brahmaputra River Basin, Assam, India, 8 Nov. 1995; ZSI-SRS 4623 (2), 67.4-70.1 mm SL, Kulsi River, Brahmaputra, India, 17 Nov. 1995; UMMZ 208542 (1), 140.9 mm SL, Borrow Pit Canal, Meghna Drainage, Comilla, Bangladesh, 23°8'N, 90°:39'E, 9 Jan. 1978; UMMZ 208936 (1), 94.6mm SL, Ghaghat River, Brahmaputra Drainage, Rangpur, Bangladesh, 25°45' N, 89°29' E, 3 April 1978; KUMF 3056 (6), 155.9 179.4 mm SL, Market at Calcutta, West Bengal, India, Jan. 1996; KUMF 3047 (1), 179.4mm SL, Market at Calcutta, West Bengal, India, Jan. 1996; NSMT-P 36122 (1 of 2), 139.6mm SL, Ganga River, India, date unknown; NSMT-P 36123 (5), 70.7-93.0 mm SL, Parvanipur Fisheries Station, Nepal, 30 May 1969; NSMTP 36124 (1), 92.6 mm SL, Birganj, Nepal, 21 Nov. 1960; NSMTP 36125 (2), 95.3-103.3 mm SL, Phewa Tal (Pokhara), Nepal, 15 July 1969; IBRP 7750 (2), 86.9 92.7 own SL, Dharan Bazar, Nepal, 3 April 1982; NSMT-P 36126, Hetaunda, Nepal, 25 June10 July 1969. C. siamensis: BMNH 1859. 7. 1: 71 (1)(holotype), 74.2mm SL, Siam (Thailand), 1858-1860. C. stewartii : BMNH 1818.104.22.168-20 (syntype) (I of 2), 203.5 turn SL, Cachar; NSMT-P 54039 (1), 139.7 ram SL, Nepal, date unknown; NSMT-P 55736 (2), 237.3-240.8 mm SL, market at Dibrugarh town, Dibrugarh, Assam, India, 10-14 April 1998; NSMT-P 55737 (13), 95.0-135.8 mm SL, Mirigaon Forest, Dibrugarh, Assam. India, 1-7 April 1998; KUMF 3149 (1), 142.1 mm SL, data as NSMT-P 55737; RMNH 1656 (1), Assam, date unknown; ZSI-ERS V/ERS 5091 (1), 154.1 mm SL, East Khasi Hill, Meghalaya, India, 31 July 1978; ZSI-ERS V/ERS 3443 (1 of 3), 104.7, Bagha, North Cachar Hills, Assam, 13 March 1970. C. striata : ZMB 1400 (syntypes) (2), 154.2170.6 mm SL, Tranquebar, Malabar coast, India; KUMF 3144 (4), 210.0-222.9 turn SL, Dharapur Market, Guwahati, Assam, India, 27 March-8 April 1998; KUMF 3145 (10), a pond at Calcutta, West Bengal, India, Jan. 1996; NSMT-P 58530 (2), 218.0-234.0mm SL, Ganga R., lndia, date unknown; NSMT-P 58531 (1), 259.7mm SL, Birganj, Nepal, 21 June 1960; KUMF 3146 (1), 218.0mm SL, Market at Calcutta, West Bengal, India, Jan. 1996; NSMT-P 58532 (3), 185.9-224.9mm SL, data as for KUMF 3146; CAS 114555 (2), 130.2-133.5mm SL, Madura, Tamil Nadu, India, 21 Jan. 1941; CAS 133815 (3), 176.8-192.4 mm SL, Rangoon, Myanmar, 31 March 1937.
Acknowledgments . - I am grateful to the following persons for assistance enabling my collection of the new species and their hospitality during fieldwork in India: M. Bora, R. Pachuau (Guwahati, Assam), M. M. Goswami (Gauhati University, Assam), K. K. Lahkar (Dibrugarh, Assam) and Sumit Dutta (Calcutta). R. S. Lai Mohan (Calicut, Kerala, India) and I R. Roberts (CAS) kindly provided useful information prior to my fieldwork in northeastern India. My special thanks go to Y. Taki, H. Kohno. K. Fujita, N. Teitler (Tokyo University of Fisheries) and K. Matsuura (NSMT-P) for their invaluable suggestions and critical reading of the manuscript. I am also grateful to the following persons for loans, information on specimens and facilitation of museum visits: I K. Sen, A. K. Karmakar (ZSI), N. Sen (ZSI-ERS), P. I Cherian, K. Rema Devi (ZSI-SRS), 0. Crimmen (BMNH), D. Catania (CAS). K. Sakamoto (Biological Laboratory, Imperial Household Agency. Tokyo). S. Sontirat (KUMF), D. W Nelson (UMNIZ). M. A. Rogers (FNINH), J.-X. Yang, Y-R. Chen (KIZ). E Krupp. U. Zajonz (SMF), M. J. P. van Oijen (RMNH). M. McGrouther (AMS), H.-J. Paepke (ZMB), C. Zhang (ASIZB), K. E. Hartel (MCZ), C. M. Yang, P. K. L. Ng. K. K. P. Lim (ZRC), Klaus Busse (ZFMK), G. Duhamel, J.-C. Hureau (MNHN), S. L. Jewett (USNM).
|C. aurantimaculata sp. nov.||Holotype (KUMF 3135)||Holotype and paratypes (Frequencies) 2||Holotype and paratypes (n)|
|Dorsal fin rays||45||45 (1), 46 (2), 47 (1)||4|
|Anal fin rays||28||28 (1), 29 (1), 39 (2)||4|
|Pectoral fin rays||15||15 (1) 16 (3)||4|
|Pelvic fin rays||6||6 (4)||4|
|Caudal fin rays||14||14 (4)||4|
|Lateral line scales||51||51 (1), 52 (1), 53 (1), 34 (1)||4|
|Scales above lateral line||5.5||4.5 (1), 5.5 (3)||4|
|Scales below lateral line||12||11 (1), 12 (3)||4|
|Predorsal scales||15||13 (1), 14 (1), 15 (2)||4|
|Cheek scales||10||8 (1), 10 (1), 11 (1), 12 (1)||4|
|Circumpeduncular scales||25||25 (1), 26 (2), 28 (1)||5|
|Vertebrae (total)||50||50 (1), 51 (1), 52 (2)||4|
|Precaudal vertebrae||45||45 (1), 46 (1), 47 (1), 48 (1)||4|
|Caudal vertebrae||5||4 (1), 5 (3)||4|
|Channa aurantimaculata||Holotype KUMF 3135||Paratype NSMT-P 55735||Paratype KUMF 3136||Paratype ZSI uncat.|
|Standard length (SL in mm)||190.8||190.7||163.7||132.0|
|Head length (in % of SL)||31.0||31.8||32.8||31.4|
|Head depth (in % of SL)||15.3||16.1||15.9||16.6|
|Head width (in % of SL)||19.3||19.2||20.2||20.5|
|Body depth (in % of SL)||15.4||15.6||15.8||16.5|
|Body width (in % of SL)||13.4||12.5||12.7||13.8|
|Caudal peduncle length (in % of SL)||9.4||8.8||9.2||9.9|
|Caudal peduncle depth (in % of SL)||10.4||10.7||10.5||10.5|
|Predorsal length (in % of SL)||30.7||29.7||30.4||31.1|
|Prepectoral length (in % of SL)||31.5||32.3||32.7||33.0|
|Preanal length (in % of SL)||51.3||51.5||53.1||52.5|
|Prepelvic length (in % of SL)||35.6||36.2||36.7||37.7|
|Length of dorsal fin base (in % of SL)||66.7||67.5||66.5||65.0|
|Length of anal fin base (in % of SL)||41.6||41.7||40.1||41.8|
|Pectoral fin length (in % of SL)||20.1||20.6||21.4||22.3|
|Pelvic fin length (in % of SL)||7.6||7.8||8.5||7.8|
|Head length (HL in mm)||59.1||60.7||53.7||41.5|
|Head depth (in % of HL)||49.2||50.6||48.4||52.8|
|Head width (in % of HL)||62.3||60.5||61.5||65.1|
|Snout length (in % of HL)||21.5||21.0||21.4||20.5|
|Eye diameter (in % of HL)||14.3||14.2||14.9||16.9|
|Preorbital head depth||28.5||28.4||28.2||31.3|
|Postorbital head length||68.0||67.8||66.7||66.1|
|Postorbital head depth (in % of HL)||36.4||36.3||36.3||38.6|
|Interorbital width (in % of HL)||27.2||28.3||28.1||26.4|
|Upper jaw length (in % of HL)||45.7||45.7||45.9||44.6|
|Characters||C. aurantimaculata (n=4)|
|Size||132.0 - 190.9 mm SL|
|Lateral line scales||51-54|
|Scale rows above lateral line||4.5-5.5|
|Scale rows below lateral line||11-12|
|Dorsal fin rays||45-47|
|Anal fin rays||28-30|
|Pectoral fin rays||15-16|
|Black vertical bands on pectoral fin||present|
|Alternate dark and whitish transverse bars on body sides||13-15|
|Characters||C. barca (n=8)|
|Size||200.5-447.8 mm SL|
|Lateral line scales||60-64|
|Scale rows above lateral line||5.5-6.5|
|Scale rows below lateral line||11-15 3|
|Dorsal fin rays||49-52|
|Anal fin rays||32-36|
|Pectoral fin rays||14-16|
|Black vertical bands on pectoral fin||present 4|
|Alternate dark and whitish transverse bars on body sides||ca. 11 5|
|Characters||C. stewartii (n=21)|
|Size||94.5-240.9 mm SL|
|Lateral line scales||45-49|
|Scale rows above lateral line||3.5-5.5|
|Scale rows below lateral line||9-11|
|Dorsal fin rays||38-41|
|Anal fin rays||24-27|
|Pectoral fin rays||14-16|
|Black vertical bands on pectoral fin||present|
|Alternate dark and whitish transverse bars on body sides||11-17|
|Characters||C. amphibeus: original description (McClelland, 1845)||C. amphibeus: drawing (McClelland, 1840)||C. amphibeus: type in Day (1876)||C. amphibeus: ZSI F11435/1|
|Size||length not given||length not given||ca. 431 mm TL||184.6 mm SL|
|Lateral line scales||not given||ca. 45||80||81|
|Scale rows above lateral line||not given||not given||8||5.5|
|Scale rows below lateral line||not given||not given||17||13|
|Dorsal fin rays||48||38||not given||50|
|Anal fin rays||34||27||not given||35|
|Pectoral fin rays||14||Not countable||not given||15|
|Black vertical bands on pectoral fin||absent 6||absent||not given||absent|
|Alternate dark and whitish transverse bars on body sides||24||ca. 20||not given||23|
|Channa amphibeus||Neotype (ZSI F11435/1)|
|Total length (mm)||230.0|
|Standard length (SL in mm)||184.6|
|Head length (in % of SL)||27.6|
|Head depth (in % of SL)||13.9|
|Head width (in % of SL)||16.5|
|Body depth (in % of SL)||17.6|
|Body width (in % of SL)||10.0|
|Caudal peduncle length (in % of SL)||8.1|
|Caudal peduncle depth (in % of SL)||10.42|
|Predorsal length (in % of SL)||27.7|
|Prepectoral length (in % of SL)||28.0|
|Preanal length (in % of SL)||46.6|
|Prepelvic length (in % of SL)||32.2|
|Length of dorsal fin base (in % of SL)||72.0|
|Length of anal fin base (in % of SL)||47.1|
|Pectoral fin length (in % of SL)||16.8|
|Pelvic fin length (in % of SL)||5.6|
|Head length (HL in mm)||51.0|
|Head depth (in % of HL)||50.4|
|Head width (in % of HL)||59.6|
|Snout length (in % of HL)||22.0|
|Eye diameter (in % of HL)||14.7|
|Preorbital head depth||28.0|
|Postorbital head length||69.2|
|Postorbital head depth (in % of HL)||37.6|
|Interorbital width (in % of HL)||23.5|
|Upper jaw length (in % of HL)||48.4|
1 Musikasinthorn himself synonymized Channa siamensis as Channa lucia . We will publish this work also in near future. [snakeheads.org] Back
2 Numbers in parentheses indicate number of specimens. Back
3 n = 7. Back
4 Bands absent in specimens examined larger than 260 mm SL. Back
5 Bars observed only in the smallest specimen examined (MNHN A. 628, 200.5 mm SL) (weakly barred on posterior portion of body). Back
6 McClelland (1845) noted "the fins are dark"; the "fins" seem to have included all fins. Back
This text was originally under the above title published in: Ichthyological Research, vol. 47, no.1; pp. 27-37 in the year 2000. The Ichthyological Society of Japan has granted snakeheads.org the right to publish it on the org's site. The copyright of text and photos is still with the Society in full amount.
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