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The Obscure Loaches Of North India

Home Forums Fresh and Brackish Water Fishes The Obscure Loaches Of North India

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 55 total)
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  • #354090

    Shovelnose
    Participant

    Yup, those are indeed juveniles of Balitora sp. ; these were collected by the hundreds at the onset of monsoon.

     

    I am not able to pinpoint even a genus on this next loach.

     

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-psWFKL2epCY/U--Sal2K2FI/AAAAAAAANOw/gQwWhPhobs8/s640/DSCN3118.JPG

     

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nFnOmH5CC7E/U--ScKZXXvI/AAAAAAAANO8/cc04ghPRqug/s640/DSCN3119.JPG

     

    The Habitat.

     

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-RTulGZ7u7HM/U--TVTkUBAI/AAAAAAAANPw/Xzt5kgPuv_4/s640/DSCN3133.JPG

     

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-cWWEckLuJAY/U--TOfO7HYI/AAAAAAAANPg/k5qPyR3QqBQ/s640/DSCN3130.JPG

    #354093

    joyban
    Participant

    The loach on the bottom is originally described as Cobitis botia,Hamilton [F.] 1822:350, 394 [An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges] No types known. 

    Current status: Valid as Acanthocobitis botia (Hamilton 1822). Nemacheilidae. Distribution: Asia: Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and China. Habitat: freshwater.

    The one on the Top need to looked into. Where were these collected from ?

    #354094

    Shovelnose
    Participant

    The fish on the bottom is Paracanthocobitis mackenziei, it is the fish on the top that needs ID. These specimens were collected from the Ganges drainage in Uttarakhand.

    #354095

    joyban
    Participant

    Paracanthocobitis (subgenus of Acanthocobitis) Grant [S.] 2007:3 .- Ref “Grant, S.   2007 (29 Oct.) [A new subgenus of Acanthocobitis Peters, 1861 (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae). Ichthyofile No. 2: 1-9.] Currently considered as : Synonym of Acanthocobitis Peters 1861. Nemacheilidae by Kottelat ref Conspectus Cobitidum: an inventory of the loaches of the world (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitoidei). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Suppl. No. 26: Page 74.

    There is reference of Nemachilus mackenziei, Chaudhuri [B. L.] 1910:183 [Records of the Indian Museum (Calcutta) v. 5 (pt 3) Northern India (several localities). (type locality: India: Uttar Pradesh: Cheriyadang near Kathgodam / Jaulasal in Nainital District.

    Current status: Synonym of Acanthocobitis botia (Hamilton 1822). Nemacheilidae. Habitat: freshwater by by Kottelat ref Conspectus Cobitidum: an inventory of the loaches of the world (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitoidei). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Suppl. No. 26: Page 75.

    Paracanthocobitis mackenziei is no more considered as a Valid Name it is Synonym of Acanthocobitis botia (Hamilton 1822).

    Link To Conspectus Cobitidum: an inventory of the loaches of the world (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitoidei). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Suppl. No. 26 

    http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement26.html

    #354099

    Shovelnose
    Participant

    I don’t think referring to checklists and nomenclatural databases for ID’s makes much sense. There has been a revision of Acanthocobitis (a thesis actually) where over fourty specimens of P.mackenzie were examined and the species was then described as valid. If you ask me to choose between the checklist/database and the thesis, I would take to the thesis in a heartbeat.

     

    Link : http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0045968/00001

    #354103

    joyban
    Participant

    We are eventually both referring to the same species. Have seen this paper before as well. 

    Kottelat still has the following to say:-

    10.2 Acanthocobitis Peters, 1861
    Acanthocobitis Peters, 1861: 712 (type species: Acanthocobitis longipinnis Peters, 1861: 712, by monotypy). Gender feminine.

    ? Paracanthocobitis Grant, 2007c: 3 [also 2007d: unnumb.p. 51] (subgenus of Acanthocobitis Peters, 1861: 712;
    type species: Cobitis zonalternans Blyth, 1860: 172, by original designation). Gender feminine. Taxonomic notes. Grant (2007c)
    distinguished Paracanthocobitis from Acanthocobitis. This was not based on examination of specimens but on literature, one live
    individual and photographs. The characters said to distinguish the two sub genera are variable within and between them (position,
    shape and size of the suborbital flap). Body shape (elongated body) is not conclusive since the ranges of body depth overlap.

    The number of branched dorsal-fin rays, related to elongated body, is also marginally overlapping. The position of the anus is
    a real difference but partly linked to the elongated body. The shape of the caudal fin is the only clear-cut character. On the
    other hand, the hypothesis that A. pavonaceus (A. longipinnis) might be a lineage distinct from the other species placed in
    Acanthocobitis is not unreasonable, but the hypothesis should be addressed by a proper study, based on examination
    of specimens of all concerned species. To distinguish lineages (subgenera) assumes a phylogenetic analysis, which is missing.

    There is no benefit to use a name created for non taxonomically justifiable reason. Further, the identity of A. longipinnis (type species of Acanthocobitis) must be clarified.

    In this paper Page 29, in Remarks section Singer mentions as follows :-

    “Remarks
    Menon (1987) treated Acanthocobitis longipinnis, type species of Acanthocobitis, as a synonym of Acanthocobitis botia.

    Grant (2007) suggested that A. longipinnis was a valid species distinct enough to be placed in its own subgenus, and placed all other species of Acanthocobitis in a new subgenus, Paracanthocobitis with type species Cobitis zonalternans Blyth 1860. Differences separating Acanthocobitis from Paracanthocobitis included caudal-fin shape (pointed), suborbital flap orientation and size (vertical and enlarged), and body shape (slender).

    The same characters described by Grant (2007) were observed in the present study as were other characters separating Acanthocobitis from Paracanthocobitis: enlarged fleshy rostral barbels and lack of a patch of adipose tissue on the lateral line. The two subgenera of Grant are treated herein as genera.

    After observing types of Acanthocobitis longipinnis and Cobitis pavonacea, Grant (2007) suggested that A. longipinnis from the Ganges River basin is a junior synonym of A. pavonacea, from the Brahmaputra River basin. The type specimens of both nominal species were observed in the present study and found to be in poor condition (Fig. 3-4, 3-5). The synonymy proposed by Grant (2008) will be upheld until, and if, fresh material is collected and the two forms can be diagnosed.”

    But even Kottelat also states the want of a phylogenetic analysis. He also stated that the genus name Paracanthocobitis (Grant, 2007c) was not based on examination of specimens but on literature, one live individual and photographs. The characters said to distinguish the two sub genera are variable within and between them (position,shape and size of the suborbital flap). Body shape (elongated body) is not conclusive since the ranges of body depth overlap.

    Singer in his paper only seems to follow what Grant mentions in his paper on Paracanthocobitis.

    Kottelat in Inland fishes of Southeast Asia Taxonomic notes:-

    With the published information, the characters mentioned to diagnose Paracanthocobitis do not justify a name (Kottelat, 2012b: 51, 2012d: 74). It is, however, possible that a proper study could show that A. pavonaceus (a supposed senior synonym of A. longipinnis, type species of Acanthocobitis) is not congeneric with the other species currently placed in Acanthocobitis. [Cobitis pavonacea M’Clelland, 1839: 305, 437, pl. 52 fig. 1 (type locality: India: Assam; syntypes: ? SMF 68 [1], 9070 [1], 9090–9091 [2], Grant, 2007c: 2, fig. 5, Eschmeyer, 2010)]. [Acanthocobitis longipinnis Peters, 1861: 712 (type locality: India: Ganges; holotype: ZMB 4795, Grant, 2007c: 1, fig. 1)]

    Also Dr. William N. Eschmeyer does not consider Paracanthocobitis mackenziei to be a valid species.

    #354104

    Shovelnose
    Participant

    At the risk of repeating myself, all these are check lists and Catalogue of Fishes is in fact a nomenclatural database and not a taxonomic one. I am sure Randall Singer examined more specimens than all the names combined in your previous post.

    Of course, at the end of the day, it is which side you choose and I realise theses may not really be considered to be taxonomic work but hey, I still do side with that one. Laugh

    #354106

    joyban
    Participant

    Conspectus Cobitidum: an inventory of the loaches of the world (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitoidei) and Catalogue of Fishes are all based on Taxonomic Notes and Papers published by various authors.  Peer reviewed Scientific Journals should be considered as as a valid source of documentation in taxonomy.  

    #354107

    joyban
    Participant

    The Balitora in question is similar to Balitora Brucei Gray (1830)type locality: India: Assam: Priang River near Cherrapunji.

    Kottelat in Indian and Indochinese species of Balitora (Osteichthyes: Cypriniformes) with descriptions of two new species
    and comments on the family-group names Balitoridae and Homalopteridae mentions colour pattern as follows:-

    Colour pattern: Among the examined specimens, the neotype only retains some colouration. The general colouration is dark brown. On the back there are 4 predorsal, 2 subdorsal and 5 postdorsal dark blotches surrounded by a lighter margin. Fins darker proximally, yellowish brown with darker markings on the rays at about 1/2-2/ 3 of their length.

    Distribution: Balitora brucei is definitively known from Assam, Meghalaya, Darjeeling, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Although recorded from Nepal by JAYARAM (1981) it is not mentioned by SHRESTHA (1981). Records from the Irrawaddy drainage in Burma should
    be checked as they probably refer to B. burmanica.

    Balitora brucei has also been mentioned from Nepal from the following locations :-

    Nepal distribution: Bardiya, Chitwan, Kanchanpur, Nawalparasi, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Tanahun

    Balitora-brucei.png

     

    There is also Balitora eddsi Conway & Mayden 2010 from Bardiyain Nepal.

    Balitora-eddsi.png

    As per Balitora eddsi, a new species of hillstream loach (Ostariophysi: Balitoridae) from Nepal K. W. Conway and R. L. Mayden

    COLOUR OF PRESERVED SPECIMENS:-
    Specimens originally fixed in 10% formalin solution and stored in 70% alcohol for preservation (D. R. Edds, pers. comm.). In alcohol: body background colour light brown laterally and creamy-yellowish dorsally and ventrally. Dorsal midline with faint brown stripe extending from posterior margin of occiput to caudal-fin base.

    Dorsal surface of unbranched pectoral-fin rays with dark brown markings. Dorsal surface of branched pectoral-fin rays with dark brown markings proximally, hyaline distally. Dorsal surface of pelvic fins with irregular dark brown markings distally, hyaline proximally. Dorsal and anal fins with dark brown markings along central portion of rays, forming oblique stripe across centre of each fin. Dorsal fin with additional dark brown markings along distal edge. Entire lower lobe of caudal fin dark brown. Upper lobe of caudal fin with dark brown blotch midway along its length. No distinct markings on body.

    DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
    Known only from the type locality, a stretch of the Gerwa River, between the towns of Chisapani and Kothiaghat, south-western Nepal. The new species was collected during a rafting trip down the Gerwa River, and the precise collection points of the type series cannot be pinpointed with any further accuracy. The rafting trip occurred between 1000 and 1700 hours, and collections were made with a cast-net and 15 foot long straight seine (D. R. Edds, pers. comm.).

    This balitora in question is not Balitora eddsi as the head structure is different and matches more with the Balitora brucei.

    balitora-eddsi-conwaymayden.jpg

     balitora_comp.jpg

    The head structure overlapped on the Balitora sp with that of Balitora brucei (Fig 3) & Balitora eddsi (Fig 2), matches more with the Balitora brucei (Fig 3). So with out examining other characters one cannot tell for sure but like a colour variant of Balitora brucei. Also I have personally seen three distinct colour variant of Balitora brucei from Northern Bangal, Assam and one from the NE India. 

    We had also once collected a different Balitora sp. from Uttarakhand as well very different than the one Shovelnose has collected. Will post a picture later…

    #354123

    Shovelnose
    Participant

    I have this pegged as Schistura beavani , only a single specimen was collected from close to type locality in Uttarakhand. 

     

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-QEAflRyjH9c/UxSTOSU-5yI/AAAAAAAAMmM/auczpcWYybA/s640/DSCN2729.JPG

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-j3AnRHzc0Cw/UxSTTMoskWI/AAAAAAAAMmU/p9NpnoxSqmM/s640/DSCN2730.JPG

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LRVWA4DzgMg/UxSTbhrcyGI/AAAAAAAAMmc/z41cTEwI19U/s640/DSCN2732.JPG

     

    The habitat.

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-essZajK3zzI/UxSSinzZJ6I/AAAAAAAAMlM/dVjLs_ynGIc/s640/DSCN2721.JPG

    #354127

    Matt
    Keymaster

    It is sometimes difficult to decide who to follow, but I think that an unpublished thesis is not an officially valid work (please correct me if wrong?).

    Re. the unidentified nemacheilid, it really reminds me of ‘something’ but can’t put my finger on what. Maybe a Physoschistura sp.?

    Really enjoying this thread!

    P.S. it is a shame that @The.Dark.One no longer frequents the forum – I am sure that he would have some useful input here.

    #354133

    Shovelnose
    Participant

    “Matt said:
    It is sometimes difficult to decide who to follow, but I think that an unpublished thesis is not an officially valid work (please correct me if wrong?).

    Absolutely right Matt, but what if the thesis makes more sense than a bunch of peer reviewed papers on the same subject??? The databases of forums (such as SF) should ideally be organic to those forums. If the said forums have extremely knowledgeable hobbyists in their midst, what purpose does it solve if Bill Eschmeyer’s (or anyone else) is the only accepted point of view??? 

    joyban makes a good point when he says peer reviewed papers should be the order of the day. This paper  http://www.discovery.org.in/PDF_Files/ijs_102303.pdf  has allegedly been “peer reviewed”. So should we follow such a ludicrous paper??? 

    I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m arguing with you Matt, because this is a subject I would love to have a discussion on. Smile

     

    “Matt said:
    Re. the unidentified nemacheilid, it really reminds me of ‘something’ but can’t put my finger on what. Maybe a Physoschistura sp.?

    I was actually thinking it could be a Triplophysa sp. but I can’t recall the shape of the caudal fin. The specimen is at home and I am travelling presently, I will take better pictures (hopefully Wink) when I visit later this month.

     

    “Matt said:
    P.S. it is a shame that @The.Dark.One no longer frequents the forum – I am sure that he would have some useful input here.

    I am currently in correspondence with Steve and will ask him to peep in.

    #354134

    The.Dark.One
    Member

    I’m sorry but I can’t offer an ID on the upper loach, though I do think it falls into Schistura, from what I can see of it.

    WRT to the Acanthocobitis/Paracanthocobitis issue, the thesis isn’t published from the point of view of the ICZN but I understand a peer reviewed manuscript version of it is due to be published hopefully this year, in a very reputable peer reviewed journal.

    Kottelat’s main (stated) objection is that there is no phylogenetic evidence for it. Well, actually there is:

    Bohlen, J. and V. Ŝlechtová 2009.
    Phylogenetic position of the fish genus Ellopostoma (Teleostei: Cypriniformes) using molecular genetic data.

    Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters v. 20 (no. 2): 157-162.

    This was overlooked in the papers you mention, but strangely similar work (not by Kottelat) was used to prop up his new genus Ambastaia, as well as colour and pattern, which at a generic level isn’t often used. Singer found morphological differences in addition to the ones I found: enlarged fleshy rostral barbels and lack of a patch of adipose tissue on the lateral line.

    So, phylogenetic evidence and morphological evidence. The main reasons (IMO) that Kottelat has not adopted the name is that it was not published in a peer reviewed journal and I did not physically have preserved specimens in my hands.

    So, in 2015 you will have to choose from a catalogue of fishes from a massive region / a superfamily, or a full review of the genera involved, both in peer reviewed journals. I know which one I would pick, putting any selfish reasons aside. Eschmeyer just follows latest work or most used names. Same goes for use of mackenziei, which IMO is valid.

    #354144

    Shovelnose
    Participant

    The.Dark.One said:
     I’m sorry but I can’t offer an ID on the upper loach, though I do think it falls into Schistura, from what I can see of it.

    Hey Steve, this is the loach Matt and me were discussing about.

     

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-psWFKL2epCY/U--Sal2K2FI/AAAAAAAANOw/gQwWhPhobs8/s640/DSCN3118.JPG

     

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nFnOmH5CC7E/U--ScKZXXvI/AAAAAAAANO8/cc04ghPRqug/s640/DSCN3119.JPG

    #354154

    Matt
    Keymaster

    @Shovelnose said:

    “Matt said:
    It is sometimes difficult to decide who to follow, but I think that an unpublished thesis is not an officially valid work (please correct me if wrong?).

    Absolutely right Matt, but what if the thesis makes more sense than a bunch of peer reviewed papers on the same subject??? The databases of forums (such as SF) should ideally be organic to those forums. If the said forums have extremely knowledgeable hobbyists in their midst, what purpose does it solve if Bill Eschmeyer’s (or anyone else) is the only accepted point of view??? 
    joyban makes a good point when he says peer reviewed papers should be the order of the day. This paper  http://www.discovery.org.in/PDF_Files/ijs_102303.pdf  has allegedly been “peer reviewed”. So should we follow such a ludicrous paper??? 
    I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m arguing with you Matt, because this is a subject I would love to have a discussion on. Smile

    Not at all! :) In fact, I agree with most of what you say – my only reservation is that the use of names from non peer-reviewed work would cause confusion and probably invite criticism. In the case of SF, it is not so much that Eschmeyer’s point of view is the only accepted one, rather that we try to follow the most recently published work, an approach I personally believe to be the most sensible. I don’t think that the role of the site should extend to altering current taxonomy, even if, as in this and many other cases, there are convincing reasons to do so.

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