New Mekong herring is less than an inch long

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The Mekong River drainage has yielded a new genus and species of miniature river herring to science.

Tyson Roberts describes Minyclupeoides dentibranchialus from the Mekong River drainage in Cambodia in the latest issue of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

The new species is a member of the subfamily Pellonulinae, and is distinguished from other members of the subfamily in the near total lack of scales, numerous (25"27) teeth on the maxilla, and only a single scale bearing a lateral line pore on the sides of the body at the level of the shoulder.

Minyclupeoides dentibranchialus is substantially smaller than any of the four pellonuline herring species (Clupeichthys aesarnensis, Clupeichthys goniognathus, Clupeoides borneensis and Corica laciniata) found in the Mekong River drainage: mature individuals are no larger than 2.2 cm standard length.

The genus is named after its small size (from the Greek minys, meaning small and clupeoides, a herring genus) and the species after the heavily toothed gill rakers (form the Latin dent-meaning teeth and branchus, meaning gills).

For more information, see the paper: Roberts, TR (2008) Minyclupeoides dentibranchialus, a new genus and species of river herring from the Lower Mekong basin of Cambodia (Teleostei: Clupeidae: Pellonulinae). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 56, pp. 125"127.