Waikhomia hira

#GS3 #Environment #Biodiversity #NewSpecies


The new fish genus is called ‘Waikhomia hira’. ‘Waikhomia’ is derived from the surname of Professor Waikhom Vishwanath, a well-known taxonomist with the department of life sciences of the Manipur University, while hira means diamond.

  • The name ‘Waikhomia’ for the new genus is a tribute to Professor Vishwanath Waikhom for his exemplary contributions to improving our knowledge on freshwater fish of north-east India, and for promoting fish taxonomy as a science in the country.
  • So far, Professor Vishwanath’s team has discovered around 100 freshwater fish species since the discovery of Puntius jayaremi locally known as Heikak Nga in 1986 and added over 200 fish species in Manipur alone.
  • ‘Maharaja Barbs’, a member of the freshwater family and endemic to the high-altitude streams of the northern Western Ghats are currently represented by a single species, Puntius sahyadriensis. 
  • It was described from the streams of the Yenna river basin close to Mahabaleshwar in the Western Ghats mountain range in 1953.
  • Studies have shown that this species does not belong to the genus Puntius. Hence, it was assigned a new genus name, ‘Waikhomia’. 
  • While undertaking this study we found that there is an additional species to (Puntius) sahyadriensis and we described it as ‘Waikhomia hira’


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