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New Eel species discovered in West Bengal

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Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new marine species of eel along the coast of Digha in Purba Medinipur district, West Bengal.

Scientific nameGymnothorax mishrai
Proposed nameBengal moray eel

  • The specimen was collected from fishing boats at a fish-landing centre located at Shankarpur, West Bengal. Bengal moray eel was collected from a depth of about 22 metres.

New Eel species discovered in West Bengal

Fetures of Gymnothorax mishrai

  • It is 4 cm long, brown in colour and the body is without any patterns.
  • The fish is also edible like other eel species that are mainly consumed in India, is limited to the coastal areas.
  • This species of moray eel has 134 vertebral bones which is less than 150.
  • This particular species is categorised among short, brown, patterned moray eels.

What are Eels?
Eels are snake-like fishes with fins and gills, found mostly at bottom of rivers and seas. There are 800 species of eels found across the world and India is home to 150-200 of these fish species.

  • Two years ago, scientists had discovered new species of edible marine fish Haplogenys bengalensis, from the same area which indicates the rich marine biodiversity of the coastal region.

Keys
Species Journal – Zootaxa
West Bengal Capital – Kolkata