Channa bipuli, a new species of snakehead (Teleostei: Channidae) from Assam, northeast India
by J. Praveenraj, A. Uma, N. Moulitharan and H. Bleher
Accepted: 24 October 2018
Channa bipuli, a new species of colorful snakehead from Assam, Northeast India, is distinguished from all its congeners by possessing a unique bluish dorsum, 25-32 minute, well defined black spots on post-orbital region, inter-orbital region with fewer, dull black spots, lower jaw under-surface with minute black to brown spots, and numerous black spots on dorsum. Channa bipuli morphologically resembles C. pardalis described from West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, however differs from the latter species by presenting caudal-fin rays devoid of transverse bands (vs. caudal-fin rays with brown transverse bands). It further differs in some osteological features, i.e., by presenting the fifth ceratobranchial slender with erect, canine-like teeth (vs. large inwardly, curved, conical teeth), and palatine elongated with five rows of teeth (vs. two rows of teeth). The genetic distance based on cox1 gene sequences between C. bipuli and C. pardalis is 4.2%, supporting the conclusion that both are distinct species.