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Researchers from Kerala and West Bengal have identified ‘Systomus Gracilus’, a New Species of Freshwater Fish from Ganga

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Kerala and West Bengal identified a new fish species GracilusThe researchers from Kerala and West Bengal have identified Systomus gracilus,a new cyprinid(family of freshwater fish) fish from Ganges River at Naihati of West Bengal.

The discovery was published as an article in the ‘Journal of Experimental Zoology’

The Science and Engineering Research Board(SERB), statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology(DST) has funded this project.

Key Info

i.The specimens are deposited in Zoological Survey of India museums at Pune, Maharashtra and Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

ii.The International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature has granted a zoo bank register number for the fish.

Species was discovered, Scientifically Named, and Described by 

Mathews Plamoottil, Head of Zoology Department, Government College, Chavara, Kollam, Kerala and Debarghya Maji, an young researcher at Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata.

About Systomus Gracilus:

Genus & Name

i.The species, which is edible, belongs to the genus Systomus. The genus Systomus is in the Cyprinidae family.

ii.It is named as Systomus gracilus(means slim in Latin) as it has a thin and compressed body. 


i.The species has a length of 11 to 12 cm and can be cultured in inland water bodies.

ii.It’s body and fins are in light reddish white color and a black band is present around the opercle.

iii.It can be distinguished from other species of the genus by the following:

  • The body of the fish is unusually high and strongly compressed
  • Tiny barbels that never reach to the orbit
  • Anal fin with 6 branched rays and last ray divided to root
  • 29- 30 lateral line scales and 11-12 pre dorsal scales, no color spot on caudal base.

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