"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." - Katwate et al. 2018 - DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4382.1.6

00-0-Copr_2021-Praveen_Raj_Jayasimhant.jpg 00-0-Copr_2018-Praveen_Raj_Jayasimhant.jpg 00-0-Copr_2018-Praveen_Raj__Jayasimhant.jpg 00-0-Copr_2018-borisaquariot.jpg 00-0-Copr_2019-Praveen_Ray_Jayasimhant.jpg 01-0-Copr_2018-Praveen_Raj_Jayasimhant.jpg 02-0-Copr_2018-Praveen_Raj_Jayasimhant.jpg 03-0-Copr_2018-Praveen_Raj_Jayasimhant.jpg 00-0-Copr_2018_Katwatet.jpg 01-0-Copr_2018_Katwatet.jpg
"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."

Aplocheilus andamanicus differs from topotypic A. panchax by the combination of the following characters: the most discussed (Day, 1878; Köhler 1906; Herre, 1939) being body size difference, A. andamanicus grows much larger in size (it is probably the largest Aplocheilus in South and South-East Asia), to at least 74.8 mm SL (vs. smaller in size); 9–10 dorsal-fin rays (vs. 6–8); 15 principal and 18–19 procurrent caudal-fin rays (vs. 12–13 principal and 12 procurrent caudal-fin rays); dorsal fin with posterior margin widely separated from caudal-fin base or hypural plate (vs. extending beyond vertical through caudal base or hypural plate); pectoral fin extending beyond vertical through anterior one-third of pelvic fin (vs. pectoral fin extending to half the length of pelvic fin); pelvic fin nearly reaching vent when adpressed but well separated from anterior base of anal fin (vs. pelvic fin extends beyond vent reaching anterior base of anal fin); caudal-fin margin rounded (vs. more oval in) (Fig. 3); lateral line system incomplete extending up to the vertical from posterior margin of dorsal fin base (vs. lateral line system complete, reaching caudal-fin base); total vertebrae 33–34 (vs. 28–30); pre-anal vertebrae 13–14 (vs. 11–12); caudal vertebrae 18–19 (vs. 14–16); median scale “A” of frontal squamation pattern smaller than scale “B” (vs. median scale “A” significantly larger than scale “B”) (Fig. 3); single anterior rostral and posterior rostral neuromasts (vs. 2 anterior rostral and 3 posterior rostral neuromasts). Day (1878) reported a total of up to 11 dorsal-fin rays in his Andaman collection, a character that was subsequently used by Köhler (1906) to diagnose A. andamanicus. Radiographs of Day’s collection (syntypes, BMNH 1889.2.1.2107-2110) and cleared and stained topotypes (BNHS FWF 384 & 385) of A. andamanicus showed, however, only 9–10 dorsal-fin rays. In any case, the dorsal-fin ray count is still valid and is the most significant diagnostic character that distinguishes A. andamanicus from A. panchax (9–10 vs. 7–8).Furthermore, A. andamanicus can easily be distinguished from A. panchax based on its unique coloration pattern including, dorsal fin extremity deep yellow or saffron (vs. blue in A. panchax); distal half of anal fin hyaline in female or studded with three longitudinal rows of vertically elongated red dots (vs. distal half of anal fin deep iridescent blue); pelvic fin yellow (vs. hyaline in A. panchax); and caudal fin periphery hyaline or subtle red (vs. deep iridescent blue in A. panchax). Both species are also genetically distinct, with a cox1 distance of 9.6–10.8% (Table 2) - Katwate et al. 2018

The identity of Aplocheilus andamanicus (Köhler, 1906) (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes), an endemic Killifish from the Andaman Islands, with notes on Odontopsis armata van Hasselt

Copyright 2022
Richard J. Sexton