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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.

Species Journal – Zootaxa
West Bengal Capital – Kolkata