Hypogean Freshwater Eel

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    • A new species of swamp eel belonging to the genus Rakthamicthys that is endemic to India was discovered in a well in Mumbai.

    Key Points

    • It was named Rakthamichthys mumba.
    • Unlike other species of its genus, the mumba lacks eyes, fins and scales, has jaws equal in forwarding extent, different gill aperture, crescentic-shaped cephalic.
    • The species differs from its congener from Western Ghats of India by the possession of jaws-projecting forward equally, when viewed laterally, absence of eyes and having more vertebrae.
    • The present known habitat of the species is only the Mumbai well.
    • Members of the family synbranchidae are very peculiar, relict lineages of percomorphs, consisting of eel-like fishes, distributed across all countries except Antarctica. Presently, this family consists of 26 valid species and are unique among teleosts by lacking paired, median and caudal fins.

    Image Courtesy: TH

    Source: TH