Two new Schistura loaches

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Two new loaches from the Schistura genus have been described from the Western Ghats in India.

The loaches, which are members of the balitorid subfamily Nemacheilinae, have just been named Schistura nagodiensis and S. sharavathiensis in a paper in the latest issue of the Zoos' Print Journal.

The fishes were found in the Sharavathi River in the central Western Ghats region during a 36-month long study aimed at looking at the areas ichthyological diversity over all of the seasons.

Schistura sharavathiensisSchistura sharavathiensis, which is named after the Sharavathi river, was found near Karnataka and appears to be a small species, with most of the type specimens measuring around 3cm in length.

The loach has 16-18 dark brown bars (which are narrower than the interspaces) on a pale beige background, with yellow orange fins, greatly elongated nasal barbels and a black spot on the bottom quarter of the first rays of the dorsal. There's also a dark vertical line on the caudal peduncle.

Schistura nagodiensisThe second of the new species, Schistura nagodiensis, was found in the Nagodi River, a tributary of the Sharavathi River in the central Western Ghats.

This species has 6-9 broader black bars on the body, a deeply emarginate or slightly forked caudal fin and two distinctive black markings on the lower lip.

Other speciesThe Western Ghats of India is home to at least six other Schistura including: S. semiarmatus, S. denisoni denisoni, S. nilgiriensis, S. kodaguensis, S. denisoni mukambbikaensis and S. denisoni pambaensis.

The Schistura genus is the largest and most widely distributed in the Nemacheiline subfamily and its representatives are normally found in hillstreams and waterfalls.

There are currently around 167 other species in the genus Schistura. You can view the distributions of some of these species using the Practical Fishkeeping Fish Mapper.

Schistura acuticephalus

Schistura afasciata

Schistura alepidota

Schistura alta

Schistura alticrista

Schistura altipedunculatus

Schistura amplizona

Schistura anambarensis

Schistura antennata

Schistura aramis

Schistura arifi

Schistura athos

Schistura atra

Schistura bachmaensis

Schistura bairdi

Schistura balteata

Schistura bampurensis

Schistura beavani

Schistura bella

Schistura bolavenensis

Schistura breviceps

Schistura bucculenta

Schistura callichromus

Schistura carbonaria

Schistura cataracta

Schistura caudofurca

Schistura chapaensis

Schistura chindwinicus

Schistura chrysicristinae

Schistura cincticauda

Schistura clatrata

Schistura conirostris

Schistura corica

Schistura coruscans

Schistura crabro

Schistura cristata

Schistura curtistigma

Schistura dabryi

Schistura dalatensis

Schistura daubentoni

Schistura dayi

Schistura deansmarti

Schistura defectiva

Schistura deignani

Schistura denisoni

Schistura desmotes

Schistura dorsizona

Schistura dubia

Schistura ephelis

Schistura fascimaculata

Schistura fasciolata

Schistura finis

Schistura fowleriana

Schistura fusinotata

Schistura geisleri

Schistura globiceps

Schistura harnaiensis

Schistura hingi

Schistura horai

Schistura humilis

Schistura huongensis

Schistura imitator

Schistura implicata

Schistura incerta

Schistura irregularis

Schistura isostigma

Schistura jarutanini

Schistura kaysonei

Schistura kengtungensis

Schistura kessleri

Schistura khamtanhi

Schistura khugae

Schistura kloetzliae

Schistura kohatensis

Schistura kohchangensis

Schistura kongphengi

Schistura kontumensis

Schistura latidens

Schistura latifasciata

Schistura lepidocaulis

Schistura leukensis

Schistura lindbergi

Schistura longa

Schistura machensis

Schistura macrocephalus

Schistura macrolepis

Schistura macrotaenia

Schistura maculiceps

Schistura maepaiensis

Schistura magnifluvis

Schistura mahnerti

Schistura malaisei

Schistura manipurensis

Schistura melarancia

Schistura menanensis

Schistura microlabra

Schistura moeiensis

Schistura montana

Schistura multifasciatus

Schistura nagaensis

Schistura nalbanti

Schistura namboensis

Schistura namiri

Schistura nandingensis

Schistura naseeri

Schistura nasifilis

Schistura nicholsi

Schistura nielseni

Schistura nomi

Schistura notostigma

Schistura novemradiata

Schistura nudidorsum

Schistura obeini

Schistura oedipus

Schistura orthocauda

Schistura pakistanica

Schistura paucicincta

Schistura paucifasciata

Schistura personata

Schistura pertica

Schistura pervagata

Schistura poculi

Schistura porthos

Schistura prashadi

Schistura prashari

Schistura pridii

Schistura procera

Schistura pseudofasciolata

Schistura psittacula

Schistura punctifasciata

Schistura punjabensis

Schistura quaesita

Schistura quasimodo

Schistura rara

Schistura reidi

Schistura rendahli

Schistura reticulata

Schistura rikiki

Schistura robertsi

Schistura russa

Schistura sargadensis

Schistura schultzi

Schistura sertata

Schistura sexcauda

Schistura shadiwalensis

Schistura sigillata

Schistura sijuensis

Schistura sikmaiensis

Schistura similis

Schistura sokolovi

Schistura sombooni

Schistura spekuli

Schistura spiesi

Schistura spiloptera

Schistura spilota

Schistura suber

Schistura susannae

Schistura tenura

Schistura thanho

Schistura tirapensis

Schistura tizardi

Schistura tubulinaris

Schistura vinciguerrae

Schistura waltoni

Schistura xhatensis

Schistura yersini

Schistura zonata

For more information on the new loaches see the paper: Sreekantha, Gururaja, Remadevi, Indra and Ramachandra (2006) - Two new fish species of the genus Schistura McClelland (Cypriniformes: Balitoridae) from Western Ghats, India.