Chinese scientists have described a new cyprinid species from the upper reaches of the Mekong River drainage in southern China.
Jian Yang, Xiaoyong Chen and Junxing Yang name the new cyprinid Mekongina lancangensis in the latest issue of the Journal of Fish Biology.
Mekongina lancangensis can be distinguished it from its sole congener (M. erythrospila) in having one pair of rostral barbels (vs. no barbels); two rows of tubercles irregularly scattered on the snout and cheeks, with two enlarged tubercles present on each side at the front of the snout (vs. four rows of tubercles); 38"41 (vs. 34"37) lateral line scales; 18"20 (vs. 16) circumpeduncular scales (v. 16); 5.5 or 6.5 (vs. 7 or 7.5) scales in transverse series from the dorsal-fin origin to the lateral line; shorter snout (31.9"36.9% head length vs. 38.6"57.8), and a longer anal fin (tip of the depressed rays reaching vs. not reaching the base of the caudal fin).
The species is named after the Chinese name (Lancang) for the upper Mekong.
For more information, see the paper: Yang, J, X-Y Chen and J-X Yang (2008) A new species of the genus Mekongina Fowler, 1937 (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from South China. Journal of Fish Biology 73, pp. 2005"2011.