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Type: Article
Published: 2018-02-20
Page range: 159–174
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The identity of Aplocheilus andamanicus (Köhler, 1906) (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes), an endemic Killifish from the Andaman Islands, with notes on Odontopsis armata van Hasselt

Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Hornbill House, Opp. Lion Gate, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 001, India School of Ocean Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), Kochi, Kerala 682 506, India
Department of Zoology, Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411 053, India
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum (BMNH), London, SW7 5BD, United Kingdom
Department of Fisheries Resource Management, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), Kochi, Kerala 682 506, India
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, G1 Block, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune 411 008, India
Pisces Aplocheilus panchax freshwater fish taxonomy South Asia


In his work on the fishes of the Andaman Islands, Francis Day (1870) collected large-sized specimens of Aplocheilus from the south Andamans. Despite differences in the size and dorsal-fin ray counts, Day refrained from recognising the Andaman Aplocheilus as a distinct species and considered it as Aplocheilus panchax, a species distributed in the Ganges delta and across the eastern coast of mainland India. However, Day mentioned the differences in fin-ray counts between these two populations. Subsequently Köhler (1906) described the Andaman population as Haplochilus andamanicus (now in Aplocheilus), referring to the diagnostic characters initially discovered by Day. This species failed to receive recognition from taxonomists, because of the uncertainty regarding the validity of the species and its questionable synonymy with A. panchax. In this study, based on morphological and molecular evidence, we demonstrate that A. andamanicus is indeed a distinct and valid species, which can easily be diagnosed from the widespread A. panchax. While resolving the identity of A. andamanicus, we also demonstrate that the congeners from southeast Asia form a genetically distinct group for which the name Odontopsis armata is available.



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