Friday, July 17, 2015

A new Chameleonfish: Badis laspiophilus

The Chameleonfishes are a small family of perciform fishes. Members of this family are found in freshwater lowlands of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh as well as in Myanmar and China. They are small fish with the largest species reaching a length of less than 7 cm and the smallest is shorter than 2 cm. 

Chameleonfishes are famous aquarium fish and several species can be found in the ornamental fish trade. From my own experience I'd say these fish are not recommended for beginners but rather more experienced hobbyists. 

This new species was found in the Torsa River drainage in India.  Its name laspiophilus is derived from the Greek words λάσπη (láspi̱; mud) and ϕίλοϛ (philos; friend), referring to the substrate of the type locality and the preferred habitat of the new species. 

Abstract: Badis laspiophilus is described from the Torsa River drainage, West Bengal, India. It can be distinguished from congeners by a combination of characters which include a small size (15.7–21.0 mm SL), 14–16 circumpeduncular row scales, interorbital width 6.7–8.9 % SL, upper and lower jaws 8.2–9.2 and 10.2–13.4 % SL, respectively, presence of two dorsalfin blotches and a single round blotch on the anal fin, and absence of cleithral, opercle and dorsolateral caudal peduncle blotches. Its benthic ecology is discussed and the Badis singenensis species group is diagnosed, of which B. laspiophilus and B. singenensis are considered members.

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