A new dwarf form of the Arctic grayling has been discovered in a small group of lakes in the Baikal basin in Russia.
The dwarf Arctic grayling, Thymallus arcticus, was found in a group of small lakes which feed into the Yakchii stream, a tributary of the Verkhnyaya Angara River in the basin of Lake Baikal.
The new fish looks similar to Thymallus arcticus in the upper Lena River and shares similar body colouration and a characteristic pattern on the Grayling's large dorsal fin.
However, closer analysis of the fin rays, scales and other features suggests that the form is actually closer related to the Thymallus of the Kutima River than to the Black Baikal grayling T. arcticus baicalensis.
The research, which has just been announced in the Journal of Ichthyology was undertaken by a team of scientists working at Russian, Portuguese and Austrian universities.
The Grayling is a member of the Salmoniformes family Thymallidae. One species, Thymallus thymallus, is found in the UK and primarily occurs in flowing freshwater rivers.
For more details on the new fish see the paper: Knizhin IB, Weiss SJ, Bogdanov BE, Samarina SS, and E Froufe (2006) - Finding a New Form of the Grayling Thymallus arcticus
(Thymallidae) in the Basin of Lake Baikal. Journal of Ichthyology. Vol. 46, No. 1, 2006