New catfish species discovered in Lishui

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated : May 20, 2024 L M S


A close-up of Tachysurus wuyueensis. [Photo/Zhou Jiajun]

A new species of catfish, Tachysurus wuyueensis, was recently identified in the Jiulongshan National Nature Reserve in Lishui, Zhejiang province. The discovery, published in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution, marks a significant addition to the biodiversity of the region.

The Tachysurus wuyueensis was first encountered in September 2020 during a comprehensive survey. Researchers noticed several catfish with distinctive elongated bodies and a lack of common markings, which led to the realization that they had found an unrecorded species. Subsequent morphological and molecular studies confirmed its status as a new species.

The Tachysurus wuyueensis is closely related to the commonly consumed yellow-head catfish but differs in its strict preference for cool, clear stream habitats with pebbly substrates. Its nocturnal habits and diet of small fish, shrimp, and aquatic insects make it a unique stream-dwelling species.

The discovery of the Tachysurus wuyueensis is attributed to the reserve's stringent environmental management and collaboration with research institutions. The Jiulongshan area, known for its extensive forests and diverse vegetation, is a sanctuary for many rare and endangered species.

The ongoing efforts in biodiversity conservation have led to the discovery of numerous new species in the reserve. To date, experts have identified 11 new animal species and 39 new plant species, demonstrating the rich natural tapestry of Jiulongshan.