Species in news: Pteropsaron indicum


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Pteropsaron indicum

Mains level : NA

Scientists have reported the discovery of the new species of signal fish, the first one of the genus recorded in Indian waters.

Pteropsaron indicum

  • The species named Pteropsaron indicum was collected by trawlers at a depth of 70 metres during a marine biodiversity survey.
  • Signal fishes are tiny and fragile and are often found in waters below 50 m. Pteropsaron indicum is one of the distinctly larger species of signal fish.
  • It has a unique colour pattern and an interesting behaviour that allows it to communicate with others of the same species by flipping its highly specialised dorsal fins.

Yellow bands

  • The new fish sports three distinct bright yellow bands on a pale greyish pink background.
  • The body and head are criss-crossed with dark margins of large-scale pockets.
  • It is also characterized by three extended dorsal fin spines, a high number of vertebrae and a relatively large body size.

Why study them?

  • Signal fishes are a poorly studied group of benthic species found in deep sandy habitats, usually close to coral reefs.
  • They are known to flip up their extended dorsal fins to signal each other.
  • The discovery of the species indicates the presence of patchy corals off the Kerala coast and therefore with a lot of conservation value.
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