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Article
Published: 2016-07-14

Balitora chipkali, a new species of stone loach (Teleostei: Balitoridae) from the northern Western Ghats of India, with a note on the distribution of B. laticauda

Department of Zoology, Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411 053, India
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Hornbill House, Opp. Lion Gate, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 001, India
Center for Taxonomy of Aquatic Animals, Department of Fisheries Resource Management, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), Kochi, Kerala 682 506, India Systematics, Ecology and Conservation Laboratory, Zoo Outreach Organization, 96 Kumudham Nagar, Vilankurichi Road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 035, India
Systematics, Ecology and Conservation Laboratory, Zoo Outreach Organization, 96 Kumudham Nagar, Vilankurichi Road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 035, India Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), G1 Block, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune 411 008, India
Pisces Freshwater fish Karnataka molecular phylogeny

Abstract

Balitora chipkali, a new species of stone loach, is described from the westward-flowing Astoli tributary of the Kali River system in the northern part of the Western Ghats, India. The species differs from its congeners in a combination of characters that includes: a single pair of maxillary barbels; a large eye, of diameter greater than 15% head length (HL); snout length less than 4 times eye diameter; gape of mouth less than 30% HL; upper lip with 9–12 papillae in first series and 3–8 papillae in second series; flattened body, of depth less than 15% standard length; caudal-peduncle length less than three times its depth, 66–68 lateral line scales, 11 caudal vertebrae excluding compound centrum, third infraorbital sensory canal tube straight; and a distinct color pattern with almost round 7 dorsal saddles not reaching lateral irregular crossbar markings. Balitora chipkali forms a monophyletic group with B. laticauda as its sister taxon in a phylogeny based on a concatenated cytochrome b (Cytb) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene fragments. Raw genetic distance between B. chipkali and B. laticauda was 1.9–2.2% based on COI and 3.4–4.3% based on Cytb partial gene sequences, which was far more than the intra-species variation in widely separated populations of B. laticauda. Based on molecular and morphological analysis, we also provide new locality records for B. laticauda and delimit its distribution to eastward-flowing tributaries of the Krishna River system in the northern Western Ghats.

 

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