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New Distribution Record and Habitat Characteristics of Stinging Catfish (Heteropneustes nani Hossain, Sarker, Sharifuzzaman and Chowdhury, 2013) from Nepal

New Distribution Record and Habitat Characteristics of Stinging Catfish (Heteropneustes nani Hossain, Sarker, Sharifuzzaman and Chowdhury, 2013) from Nepal

Asmit Subba1*, Jash Hang Limbu2 and Laxman Khanal1*

1Central Department of Zoology, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu 44618, Nepal
2College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China
 
Corresponding Author: 
Asmit Subba, subbaasmit926@gmail.com; 
Laxman Khanal, laxman.khanal@cdz.tu.edu.np

ABSTRACT

The Stinging catfish (Heteropnuestes nani) was described in 2013 from the Noakhali of Bangladesh through detailed morphological characterization. They differ significantly from their congeners based on small size, completely separated pectoral spine from rays bearing 9–10 serrae along the inner edge and united anal-caudal fin. In Nepal, only one species of Heteropnuestes, i.e., H. fossilis has been reported. Based on the morphometric and meristic characteristics, this study reports the first-ever record of another species (H. nani) under the genus from eight locations in Jhapa District, eastern lowland Nepal, along with H. fossilis records. The two species distinctly differ, with H. nani conspicuously smaller than H. fossilis. Heteropnuestes nani has been recorded from nutrient-rich, shallow, and turbid water bodies with abundant invasive aquatic macrophytes (Eichhornia crassipes, Hydrilla verticillata, and Ceratophyllum submersum). The type locality of the H. nani in Bangladesh and the newly reported locality in Nepal share similar tropical monsoon climates and river connectivity that might have facilitated their dispersal. Further studies are warranted to understand the detailed taxonomy and distribution pattern of H. nani in Nepal. 
 
Novelty Statement | This study reported the occurrence of Heteropeustes nani from Nepal using field surveys from water bodies of eastern lowland of the country. Further, it characterized the habitats of the species and proposed the dispersal route from its original description locality in Bangladesh.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

June

Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 3, pp. 1001-1500

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