New genus and species of danionine fish described


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Scientists from Sweden and India have described a new genus and species of danionine fish.

Betadevario ramachandrani was collected from the upper Sita River drainage in southwestern India, where it was found in a high altitude stream with a cascade and riffle pool-type habitat.

The water temperature was 19°C and pH 6.4 at the time of collection.

The new genus is named after the Greek letter beta, denoting two (and used in the meaning of second), and also honouring Beta Mahatvaraj, who helped make the material available for study. 

The specific name honours Professor Alappat Ramachandran.

The discovery of the new species (as a new species of Danio) was reported two years ago in a news article here on the Practical Fishkeeping website.

Betadevario ramachandrani

Publishing the description of Betadevario ramachandrani in a recent issue of the journal Zootaxa, PK Pramod and coauthors distinguish the new fish, which comes from the Western Ghats in southwestern India, from all other danionines in having two pairs of long barbels, a wide cleithral spot that extends to cover three scales horizontally, a long and low laminar preorbital process along the anterior margin of the orbit, and a unique flank colour pattern of a wide dark band along the lower side, bordered on top by a wide light stripe. 

The taxonomic status of the fish was confirmed by an analysis of nucleotide sequences of mitochrondrial cytochrome b and nuclear rhodopsin genes. 

For more information, see the paper: Pramod, PK, F Fang, K Rema Devi, T-Y Liao, TJ Indra, KS Jameela Beevi and SO Kullander (2010) Betadevario ramachandrani, a new danionine genus and species from the Western Ghats of India (Teleostei: Cyprinidae: Danioninae). Zootaxa 2519, pp. 31–47.