A new species of edible freshwater fish has been discovered in Pampa river running through Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. Named as Labeo filiferus, it belongs to Labeo genus.
The two researchers, Mathews Plamoottil, Assistant Professor, Government College, Chavara, Kollam, and Primoz Zupancic from the Dinaric Research Institute, Slovenia, Europe, have reported the discovery in the latest issue of research journal Bioscience Discovery.
The fishes in the Labeo genus are widely distributed in the inland water bodies of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, tropical Africa and Syria. They are medium- sized elongate fishes with rounded abdomen, swollen snout, finged lips and a straight lateral line.
At present 31 species of Labeo are discovered in India. Among these species, L.rohita , commonly known as Rohu, extensively used in aquaculture. The only other Labeo species reported from Kerala is L.dussumieri.
According to the researchers, L.filiferus was found to be distinct from the other species of the genus in its features including black coloured body and fins, prominent barbels, smaller eyes, longer snout and elongated dorsal and anal fins. The eyes are brilliantly coloured with orange tinge. The specimens were 20 to 40 cm long and weighed four to five kg.
The researchers expect more species of the Labeo genus to be discovered in the near future from the aquatic bodies in north and central Kerala.