Itanagar: A new species of Labeonine fish, locally known as `Ngop`, has been found in Arunachal Pradesh by an amateur naturalist.
The medium-sized fish of the genus `Garra` was found in Upper Siang district by Lakpa Tamang, a former staff of the Northeast unit of the G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development.
The scientist in charge of the institute, Prasanna K Samal, gave the information.
It was found in a tributary of Siang river, about 3 km from Bomdo village, the director of the institute, Dr P P Dhyani, said.
"This is the first new species of the genus found in the Upper Siang district and is new to science. The discovery has been recently published in a reputed German international journal "Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters," Dhyani said.
Tamang has described the species taxonomically and designated it as Garra magnidiscus (in Latin `magnus` means large and `discus` means disc) which is an allusion to the very large adhesive disc of the species.
The disc is located in the posterior region of its mouth enabling it to easily station itself in fast-flowing water.
The genus `Garra` includes about 80 species found in an area spread from China through the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula to East and West Africa.
"Seventeen such species are known to exist in Africa and nine in the Arabian Peninsula. The sighting of the new species takes the total number of Garra species found in the Northeast to 17," Tamang said.
So far, 10 species of Garra are found in Arunachal Pradesh, Tamang said.
He reportedly discovered three new species of catfishes Erethistoides senkhiensis, Glyptothorax dikrongensis and Pseudolaguvia viriosa from Senkhi stream, Dikrong river in Papum Pare and Sille river in East Siang districts respectively in the last few years while working with the institute.