Remarkable rediscovery of Barbus (=Hypselobarbus) mussullah (Sykes) after 175 years of hiatus and description of a new species of Hypselobarbus Bleeker from peninsular India (Cyprinidae: Cypriniformes)

Muthukumarasamy ARUNACHALAM, Sivadoss CHINNARAJA, Richard Lee MAYDEN


In 1838 Sykes described three species of Cyprindae, Barbus mussullah, B. khudree and B. kolus, all possessing barbels. Since that time the taxonomies of B. mussullah and B. khudree have been in a state of confusion. Annandale (1919) stated that Sykes’ description of B. mussullah was inadequate. Hora (1942) described Barbus (=Hypselobarbus) mussullah and relegated it to a synonym of Cyprinus (=Barbus) curmuca Hamilton. Subsequently, Hora (1943) indicated that Barbus mussullah belongs to the genus Tor. The generic identity of Barbus (=Hypselobarbus) mussullah is important because it is the type species of the genus Hypselobarbus Bleeker. Knight et al. (2013, 2104) incorrectly identified Barbus mussullah based on specimens from Thunga River, Karnataka and Krishna River, Maharashtra. Examination of their collections and eight additional specimens already collected from Thunga River reveals their incorrect identification of specimens that represent an undescribed species described herein as Hypselobarbus pseudomussullah. Hypselobarbus mussullah collected from Krishna River is distinguished from Hypselobarbus pseudomussullah sp. nov. in having more lateral-line scale rows (44 vs. 41-42), more pre-dorsal scale rows (14 vs. 12-13), more lower transverse scale rows (7.5 vs. 5.5-6), more circumferential scale rows (36 vs. 30-31) and more transverse breast scale rows (14 vs.11-12).


Cyprinid fishes, Taxonomic ambiguity, H. mussullah, H. pseudomussullah sp. nov.

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