india Channa genus and species discovered in india

headbanger_jib

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After the previous years floods in the southern part of India, a new genus was added as two new species were discovered and are being described from southern India.

Both these species discovered were given a new genus, as these fish habitat aquifiers, that is the underground water that flows between rock, gravel and sand in the underground.

The two species are
Aenigmachanna gollum

and

Aenigmachanna mahabali


I was lucky to actually see one of these species aenigmachanna gollum in person and got the opportunity to observe and photograph these Channa which are very unique in their physical characteristics as well as their behavioural characteristics.

Some of the aspects that I observed are.

I sat in front and observed for nearly 3 hours, not one of the fish came up for a gulp of air even once, so it's understandable that they can go on for long periods of time between each breath.

They are not very territorial and are ok to huddle up in small groups amongst rock crevices and driftwood.

They have huge mouths, but they are more gums than teeth.
DSC_5845.jpg
In this pic you can see that its mouth kinda wraps around the earthworm, even though the mouth is closed, the worm is not squished.

They've huge mouths and elongated jaws.

They prefer to swim clinging to the bottom surface of the tank, not much free swimming by these fish.

A few more pics of the Aenigmachanna gollum

DSC_5910.jpg

D5_DSC_5837.jpg

DSC_5876.jpg

DSC_5936.jpg
See no teeth and all gums
 
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kno4te

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Man wish it was legal here. Thanks for the share jib.
 
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islandguy11

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Wow crazy good pix and what a cool opportunity for you -- probably the first person to ever professionally photograph these fish, in any case well done.

Btw, given the aenigmachanna gollum (ha ha, appropriate name that) pictured is subterranean, is it surprising that its eyes look quite normal and not blind like many other underground species, e.g. cavefish?
 
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headbanger_jib

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Wow crazy good pix and what a cool opportunity for you -- probably the first person to ever professionally photograph these fish, in any case well done.

Btw, given the aenigmachanna gollum (ha ha, appropriate name that) pictured is subterranean, is it surprising that its eyes look quite normal and not blind like many other underground species, e.g. cavefish?
Yeah loved the opportunity to see em up close and personal, not a professional shoot, I am not a photographer, just another hobby, like fishkeeping.

Yes these are very intriguing species.

When they fight each other, they open their mouths wide, the upper and lower jaw forms an angle of nearly 110-130 degrees. Like some of the gobies.

These fish don't take a gulp of air and come down, they take a gulp of air, stay on top, release the air back and then come down.

Lot more to observe and learn.
 
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headbanger_jib

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Video of aenigmachanna mahabali



These are the only videos of this species alive, as the fish didn't survive, only one specimen alive was collected, which also didn't survive for long.
 

headbanger_jib

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My friend sent me a cool video of the Aenigmachanna gollum sparring with each other


And another video of them eating pellets

 
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