New species of spiny eel described

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Spiny eel expert Ralf Britz has described a new species of distinctively coloured spiny eel from northern Myanmar in a recent issue of the journal Zootaxa.

The new species, named Macrognathus aureus after its golden colour in life (aureus=Latin for golden), is a member of the M. aculeatus species group. 

Macrognathus aureus can be distinguished from congeners in having a combination of: 8–10 rostral tooth plates, 21–22 dorsal-fin spines, and a unique colour pattern consisting of a series of large white rimmed dark-brown to black blotches along the dorsal fin and even larger black blotches along the lateral line, of which some are confluent with the dorsal series. 

The new species is known from Indawgyi Lake and neighbouring streams and rivers in the upper Irrawaddy River drainage.

For more information, see the paper: Britz, R (2010) Macrognathus aureus, a new spiny eel of the M. aculeatus species group from the Upper Ayeyarwaddy River Drainage, Myanmar (Teleostei: Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae).  Zootaxa 2514, pp. 55–60.