New cyprinid named Microrasbora micropthalma

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A new species of Microrasbora has been described from the Chinese Province of Yunnan.

The new species, named Microrasbora micropthalma by Chinese Scientists from the Kunming Institute of Zoology, is the sixth species of the genus to be described since it was created in 1918 by Annandale for two miniature species of cyprinid discovered in Lake Inle, Myanmar.

The new species can be easily distinguished from other species of Microrasbora by a number of features, including its higher number of predorsal scales (15"16 versus 10-14 in other species), the more anterior position of its dorsal fin (the origin of which is posterior to that of the pelvic fins versus origin slightly anterior to pelvic fin in other species) and its relatively smaller eye, for which the new species has been named (microphthalma from the Greek micros, meaning small, and ophthalma, meaning eye).

The new species is a brownish-grey colour, with a black lateral stripe running along the middle of the body and a shorter silvery stripe running between the anal fin and caudal fin base.

The species was discovered two years ago (November 2006) in the small hill-streams of the upper reaches of the