New Garra described

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A new species of bottom-dwelling cyprinid fish from the Garra genus has been described from the Yunnan Province in China.

Garra rotundinasus was discovered in the upper reaches of the Irrawaddy River basin and has just been described in the National University of Singapore's Raffles Bulletin of Zoology by E Zhang.

Until recently most authors had considered this species to be Garra gravelyi, but Zhang says that Garra rotundinasus is actually a distinct species, differing by the presence of 36-37 perforated lateral line scales, rather than the 32-34 seen in gravelyi. It also has more scales in the predorsal area, with 10-11 versus 8-9, and lacks the black spots seen at the base of the dorsal in gravelyi.

The name rotundinasus means round snout in Latin and refers to the broadly rounded snout of the fish, which is wider than that seen in many other Garra known from Asia.

The species lives alongside G. tengchongensis and is one of several other Garra species known from the area. Last year Zhang showed that the fish described as Garra orientalis from the Irrawaddy basin consisted of G. salweenica and another undescribed species which he named Garra bispinosa. Garra qiaojiensis also occurs in the basin.

For more details on the new species see the paper: E Zhang (2006) - Garra rotundinasus, a new species of cyprinid fish (Pisces: Teleostei) from the Upper Irrawaddy River basin, China. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 2006 52(20): 447-453.