A new species of freshwater fish, characterised by its humpbacked body, has been discovered from the central Travancore region.
The new species named Puntius kyphus has been discovered and named by Mathews Plamoottil of the Government College, Chavara in Kollam district, and published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Zoology.
Fishes of the genus Puntius belong to the family Cyprinidae which include barbs. They are small, edible and ornamental fishes found in freshwater bodies of south and southeast Asia and Taiwan. The species name kyphus is derived from Greek and means ‘humpbacked’ referring to the prominent convex curvature of the body of the fish which distinguishes it from others of the same genus. The silver coloured fish has pale yellow fins and lateral line scales. It was also found to have a weak, flexible last simple dorsal-fin ray and long caudal fin.
The specimens up to 9 cm long were collected from a stream near Thiruvalla and compared with relative species to establish its identity as a new species. The specimens have been deposited at the Zoological Survey of India museum, Meghalaya. Mr. Mathews said it received Zoo Bank register number from the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature, the official body approving the names of new faunal species.