A new “ silver fish “found in Velankanni.

28 May 2020.

New freshwater fish in Velankanni!


A silver-hued freshwater fish has been found in Velankanni in a small water body in Tamil Nadu. It is a new species of small freshwater fish belonging to family Cyprinidae.


  • Fish has been named as Puntius sanctus,–“sanctus” in Latin means holy— after the popular pilgrim town.
    • The fish was identified and named by Mathews Plamoottil, head of the Department of Zoology, BJM Government College,Chavara,in Kollam.
    • The research that he conducted was funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board of the Department of Science and Technology.
    • An article was published on this discovery by  Bioscience Research.
    • According to Dr. Plamooottil the discovery of Puntius indicates that many of the water bodies are still unexplored.
    • The new fish is now deposited in Government of India museum( Zoological Survey of India) at Pune.
    • It has also been registered with ZooBank of the International Commisson of Zoological Nomenclature,the official authority for naming animals.

About Puntius:

  • The Puntius species are known as “Paral”  in Kerala and as Kende in Tamil Nadu.
  • These are purely fresh water fishes.
  • They are small growing to a size of 7 cm.
  • Genus shows great species richness in Kerala and Tamil Nadu .
  • However, the specimen from Velankanni shows distinctive features –
  •  It has a protractible mouth,a pair of maxillary barbles( a sensory organ near the snout),24-25 lateral line scales and 10 pre-dorsal scales.

Zoological Survey of India:

The Zoological Survey of India, founded on 1 July 1916 by Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, as premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in the country. 

Headquarters locationKolkata

Director: Dr. Kailash Chandra

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