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 Naslov prispevka: Pangio bhujia Anoop, Britz, Arjun, Dahanukar & Raghavan 2019
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The ETYFish Project - NAME OF THE WEEK
Pangio bhujia Anoop, Britz, Arjun, Dahanukar & Raghavan 2019

We called them the “most unappetizing fishes named for food.” Now the earthworm eel genera Bihunichthys and Chendol — profiled in the 5 June 2019 “Name of the Week” — have a challenger to the claim: a recently described eel loach from India, Pangio bhujia.

One of the authors (Raghavan) saw a photo of the fish posted by a nature enthusiast near the town of Calicut (=Kozhikode) in the southern Indian state of Kerala on social media. He recognized it as something new and unusual. Two other authors (Anoop and Arjun) visited the site and collected specimens for study and description. The fish was captured from a six-meter-deep well used for drinking and irrigation purposes, and from a channel connecting a pond to an adjacent paddy field located ~200 m away from the well. The authors believe it is a subterranean species that lives in the extensive laterite aquifer system of southern Kerala.

Like Bihunichthys and Chendol — named for a noodle and a sweet dessert, respectively — this loach is named for its resemblance to a food, in this case Bikaneri bhujia, a popular (in India) crispy noodle-like snack usually made of moth beans, besan (gram flour) and spices.

A related species, Pangio bitaimac, is named after bee tai mak, a short and thick rice noodle consumed in Southeast Asia.

The genus name Pangio, proposed by Blyth in 1860, is a latinization of Pangya, a local Gangetic name for the related loach P. pangia. It does not, as far as we know, refer to food.

PHOTO: Pangio bhujia, mature female with eggs. From: Anoop, V. K., R. Britz, C. P. Arjun, N. Dahanukar and R. Raghavan. 2019. Pangio bhujia, a new, peculiar species of miniature subterranean eel loach lacking dorsal and pelvic fins from India (Teleostei: Cobitidae). Zootaxa 4683 (1): 144-150.

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