New catfish found in Myanmar

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Scientists working in Myanmar have found another new species of tropical fish in the area.

The new catfish species was discovered in the upper Irrawaddy River basin, near Myitkyina, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and is a member of the family Sisoridae.

The species has just been described by Ralf Britz and Carl Ferraris Jr as Glyptothorax panda in a paper in the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

At just 3cm in length, the tiny new fish species is believed to be the smallest known member of the Glyptothorax genus so far.

Glyptothorax panda shares a very distinctive colour pattern of vertical bands with another catfish species, Aksyis prashadi, which is found in the same area.

Britz and Ferraris reckon that this suggests a possibly mimetic relationship between the two catfishes.

They say that the new Glyptothorax species shares lots of features with members of the family Erethistidae, and believe that the finding questions "the validity of the current distinction between the Erethistidae and the Sisoridae."

For more details on the new catfish see the paper: Britz, R and CJ Ferraris Jr (2005) - A diminutive new species of Glyptothorax

(Siluriformes: Sisoridae) from the upper Irrawaddy River basin, Myanmar, with comments on sisorid and erethistid phylogenetic relationships. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 375-383, 4 figs., December 2005.