Vertebrate Zoology 68(2): 165-175, doi:
Integrative taxonomy reveals a new species of snakehead fish, Channa stiktos (Teleostei: Channidae), from Mizoram, North Eastern India
expand article info. Lalramliana, John Daniel Marcus Knight, Denis Van Lalhlimpuia, Mahender Singh
‡ Pachhunga University College, Aizawl, India
Open Access
Channa stiktos, a new species of snakehead fish, is described from the River Kaladan and its tributaries, Mizoram, North Eastern India based on comparison of morphological and molecular features with closely related species. Channa stiktos is morphologically similar to C. ornatipinnis described from the Rakhine State of Myanmar, however, differs from it in having black spots on dorsal and ventral sides of the head (vs. no spots on dorsal and ventral sides of the head, but rather spots restricted to the post-orbital lateral region of the head), and lacking dark spot on the anal fin of juveniles (vs. presence of series of upto 10 dark spots). The molecular analysis, based on cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences, shows that C. stiktos is distinct from other close Channa species, except clade 3 of C. ornatipinnis, available in the GenBank (interspecies distance ranges from 8.24 – 25.33%). Channa stiktos clustered cohesively with clade 3 of C. ornatipinnis (only 1.43% genetic distance) indicating that they are conspecific. The genetic distance between Channa stiktos and C. ornatipinnis (from the type locality and another locality in the Ayeyarwaddy basin) are 8.24 – 8.59%, and between C. stiktos and C. pulchra is 12.92%, supporting the conclusion that they are different species.
Channa ornatipinnis, C. pulchra, COI, Taxonomy, Freshwater fish, River Kaladan, Indo-Burma Biodiversity hotspot.