New Distributional Record of Flat Needlefish Ablennes hians (Valenciennes, 1846) (Beloniformes: Belonidae) in the North-Eastern Indian Ocean with Taxonomic Details
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Present study is based on five specimens of flat needlefish Ablennes hians collected from Puri North (Lat. 19047′43.062″N, Long. 85049′38.5788″E), Odisha, India on 7 January 2018. Based on morphometric and meristic characters, the specimens were identified as Ablennes hians (family Belonidae), having laterally compressed body with a series of vertical bars, 26 to 27 anal fin rays, 24–25 dorsal fin rays, 13–14 pectoral fin rays, and single lobe of gonad. A. hians can be distinguished from other three species of needlefishes reported from northeast coast of India based on body shape (body strongly compressed laterally in A. hians vs. rounded in cross section in other three species), number of anal fin rays (24–28 in A. hians vs. 15–25), vertical bars on body (a series of vertical bars in A. hians vs. no vertical bars in others except for S. leiura where few vertical bars are present on anterior half of the body). The occurrence of flat needlefish along Odisha Coast revealed the extension of its known geographical distributional range i.e. from noth of Andhra Pradesh in the North-eastern Indian Ocean. Further, it is an addition to the ichthyofaunal biodiversity of northeast coast of India.
KeywordsAblennes hians Belonidae Flat needlefish Odisha coast Northeast coast
The authors are highly grateful to Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI, Cochin and Dr. Gopal Krishna, Director, ICAR-CIFE, Mumbai for providing all necessary facilities and constant support during the entire study period.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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