Ichthyological Research

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 161–165 | Cite as

Kryptoglanis shajii, an enigmatic subterranean-spring catfish (Siluriformes, Incertae sedis) from Kerala, India

  • Moncey VincentEmail author
  • John Thomas
Full Paper


This is the report of a new species of catfish, Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and nov. sp., distinguished from all other genera of siluriform fishes by the combination of the following morphological characters: viz. the absence of dorsal fin; the presence of four pairs of barbels; an upwardly directed mouth, with a distinctly projecting lower jaw; subcutaneous eyes; anal fin completely confluent with the caudal fin; anal and caudal fins together carry 70–74 fin rays; and no spines in any of the fins. Kryptoglanis, which has a maximum recorded size of 59.1 mm in standard length, was collected from a well fed by subterranean springs. The type locality is a well located at the extreme western part of Western Ghats, near Chalakudy in Thrissur district, Kerala State, India.


Kryptoglanis New genus Catfish Subterranean springs Western Ghats 



We express our gratitude to Jose Thekkan for the facilities provided. Special thanks are due to C.V. Midhu for giving access to the specimens and also for her assistance in studying the anatomy. We are grateful to N.V. Benny, C.A. Varghese and P.J. Jostin for help during collection of specimens. Thanks are also due to R. Pethiyagoda for help and support during this study. Help rendered by H.H. Ng, K.C. Gopi and K. Remadevi is also acknowledged here. Special thanks are also due to K.T. Teji, A. Gopalakrishnan, P.R. Divya and V.S. Basheer for the help and support rendered by them. Finally, we thank J.G. Lundberg, C.J. Ferraris, Jr., and Y. Iwatsuki for their valuable comments and suggestions. While planning and executing the experiments presented here, we took care not to violate the national and international laws and guidelines for the use of fishes in research.

Supplementary material

10228_2011_206_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (478 kb)
Fig. S1. Lateral view of the head of Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and sp. (paratype ZMCC F 0103) to show the projecting lower jaw. Scale bar represents 2 mm (JPEG 478 kb)
10228_2011_206_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (535 kb)
Fig. S2. Dorsal view of the head of two live individuals of Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and sp. to show the upwardly directed gape, distinctive cephalic sensory pores and position of eyes (JPEG 534 kb)
10228_2011_206_MOESM3_ESM.jpg (238 kb)
Fig. S3. Ventral view of a live individual of Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and sp. to show the branchiostegal rays and pectoral fin details (JPEG 237 kb)
10228_2011_206_MOESM4_ESM.jpg (934 kb)
Fig. S4. Distribution pattern of sensory pores on the head of Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and sp. (JPEG 934 kb)
10228_2011_206_MOESM5_ESM.jpg (862 kb)
Fig. S5. Photograph showing the caudal region of Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and sp. to show the completely confluent anal and caudal fin. Scale bar 2 mm (JPEG 861 kb)
10228_2011_206_MOESM6_ESM.jpg (202 kb)
Fig. S6. Artificial well from where the studied specimens of Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and sp. collected (JPEG 202 kb)

Movie S1. Video clip showing the foraging activity of Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and sp. in laboratory (windows media video; dimensions 640 × 480; duration 1 min 21 s; bit rate 1,510 kbps; size 15.5 MB)

Movie S2. Spring flow in a well from where Kryptoglanis shajii nov. gen. and sp. was collected in January 2010 (windows media video; dimensions 640 × 480; duration 25 s; bit rate 1,510 kbps; size 4.9 MB)


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyChrist College, IrinjalakudaThrissurIndia

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