Author Topic: 'Zootaxa' confirms new Thai fish species  (Read 962 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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'Zootaxa' confirms new Thai fish species
« on: May 25, 2011, 10:49:06 AM »
'Zootaxa' confirms new Thai fish species

A new freshwater fish species discovered in natural water sources in Thailand a decade ago has been confirmed by a reputable scientific magazine, Zootaxa.

Pla eid (Lepidocephalichthys zeppelini), a new species of fish that has been found in Nong Khai province.

Chavalit Vidthayanon, deputy director of Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University's Khorat Fossil Museum, said yesterday the discovery and confirmation reflected the rich biodiversity of freshwater fish species in the Mekong subregion.

Mr Chavalit said a decade ago his team had discovered a new species of pla eid (Lepidocephalichthys zeppelini) in Bung Khong Long lake and Kutting swamp, which are designated under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, in Nong Khai.

Mr Chavalit said the fish was only three centimetres long and inhabited only clean water sources.

"We spent many years finding information on freshwater fish species all over the world to make sure that the fish species we discovered was really a new thing," he said.

Mr Chavalit said after he was certain no other discovery had been made elsewhere in the world, he produced a report and sent it to the New Zealand-published journal to confirm the discovery.

Mr Chavait said his team is currently waiting for another new freshwater fish species to be confirmed by the journal. It was a proboscis spiny eel of the Macrognathus family.

The fish had been found five years ago in a small creek off the Mekong River in Ubon Ratchathani province. Its most outstanding feature was its longer nose when compared with other eels with an average length of only 20 centimetres, the fish expert said.

Thailand has almost 500 freshwater fish species.

Of them, 300 are found in forest wetlands, 60 inhabit peat land and nine dwell in caves.

Mr Chavalit said he was worried growing deforestation would pose a threat to their survival. It might cause a decrease in the number of endemic freshwater fish species found in the forest.

In Chiang Mai, there are currently about 10 endemic freshwater fish species. The fish have been found at Doi Inthanond in Chom Thong district and Chiang Dao district and 20 other endemic freshwater species have been found in Nan province.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had recorded 80 fish species in the red list category of endangered habitats and 34 of them have been found in Thailand.

Bangkok Post