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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - How to describe a new fish?
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How to describe a new fish?
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Marc
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:11 am Post subject: Re: One confusion Reply with quote

 Hi  Nikhil,
 
 Am  happy  you  are  interested   Thumb Up  
 
 It  is  quite  simple.  Every  ZSI  regional  centre  has  an  Ichthyology  section  with  a  scientist  in  charge  of  that  section.  All  you  need  to  do  is  go  meet  the  scientist  hand  over  your  specimens  and  request  him  to  register  it  for  you.  Any  fish  qualifies  to  be  registered   Smile  as  ZSIs  have  collections  for  public  access........
 
 Be  sure  to  count  the  number  of  fish  (both  species  and  specimens)  you  give  and  make  sure  you  get  the  register  number  with  the  details.
 
 The  register  number  will  be  something  like  this..........
 
 Register  number:  ZSI/SRC  F8092
 Binomial:  Puntius  filamentosus  (Val.)
 Family:  Cyprinidae
 Collector:  Nikhil  (with  initials)  
 Date  of  collection:  24.02.2011
 Locality:  Sita  nadi,  Karntaka
 Altitude:  800  m
 Number  of  examples:  8
 
 The  Western  Ghats  Regional  Centre  in  Calicut  would  be  closer  for  you  I  guess.  I  can  help  you  deposit  in  Southern  Regional  Centre  in  Chennai  if  Calicut  guys  dont  comply.
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nikhilsood1
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:33 am Post subject: Re: One confusion Reply with quote

 Hi  Marc,
 
 Thanks  a  lot  for  that  Info.  Ok  I  am  ok  with  sending  the  fish  over  to  Chennai  if  you  can  get  them  deposited?  Or  do  I  have  to  come  down  to  get  them  deposited  personally?  
 
 In  about  2  weeks  hopefully  I  might  have  about  2-3  varieties  I  might  want  to  deposit.  
 
 Ok  now  that  gets  me  to  my  next  question.  If  I  need  to  get  them  deposited  whats  the  criteria  for  that?  New  species  etc  and  who  validates  what  I  claim?  Or  is  it  just  a  deposit  of  fish  saying  that  I  collected  it  and  end  of  story?
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Marc
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:49 am Post subject: Re: One confusion Reply with quote

 No  problem,  I  will  deposit  the  fish  for  you.  You  need  not  come  down....just  send  the  fish  (either  fixed  or  alive)  to  me  and  I  will  deposit  and  send  you  the  Register  numbers.
 
 No  criteria  for  depositing.  Any  fish  can  be  deposited  in  the  ZSI  Collections.  For  Chennai  (SRC)  it  will  be  validated  by  Dr.  K.  Rema  Devi.  It  will  take  time  if  its  a  new  species  to  be  described  as  there  is  already  a  pile  of  new  species  with  her.  
 
 If  it  is  a  new  species  we  will  let  you  know,  and  give  you  the  register  numbers.  You  can  take  it  up  yourself  or  send  the  register  number  to  any  of  your  friends  who  are  working  on  fish  so  that  they  can  access  your  collection  and  work  on  it.  
 
 If  this  is  not  feasible,  you  will  have  to  wait  till  the  researchers  in  ZSI  take  up  your  fish  which  will  take  time.  Come  what  may  even  100  years  down  the  line  whoever  describes  the  fish,  the  paper  will  have  your  name  as  the  collector.
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nikhilsood1
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:49 pm Post subject: Re: One confusion Reply with quote

 Thats  a  great  help  Marc.  I  will  send  down  the  fish  I  think  need  or  should  be  deposited.  Will  send  you  some  Puntius  filamentosus  as  well.  Different  catch  location.  That  river  looked  very  dead  so  I  guess  could  be  the  last  few  you  might  get.
 
 Thanks  again  for  explaining  and  offering  to  help.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:56 pm Post subject: Re: One confusion Reply with quote

 Welcome  Nikhil............the  P.  filamentosus  will  be  a  great  help.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:31 pm Post subject: Re: One confusion Reply with quote

 I  have  a  question
 
 In  case  i  collect  some  specimens  from  a  isolated  zone,  which  i  feel  is  a  new  species  and  to  ascertain  its  status  i  deposit  it  with  ZSI.  But  since  there  is  a  backlog  of  samples  and  it  takes  say  a  year  to  be  ascertained.  
 
 In  the  meantime,  if  someone  else  collects  the  very  same  specimens  from  the  same  area  and  has  it  described  faster  than  me.  What  will  be  the  status  of  my  specimens?  do  i  get  any  sort  of  claim  on  the  new  species?
 
 This  is  realistic  problem  because  people  who  are  not  equipped  with  the  taxonomic  skill  set  will  depend  on  a  third  person  to  study  and  identify  it,  at  the  same  time  if  a  taxonomist  lays  his  hands  on  the  species,  he  will  be  in  position  to  describe  it  earlier.
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Tirtha C
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:19 pm Post subject: Re: How to describe a new fish? Reply with quote

 Changed  the  subject  line  as  it  became  almost  a  handbook  for  fish  explorers.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:37 pm Post subject: Re: How to describe a new fish? Reply with quote

 I  guess  if  you  are  interested  in  Native  Fishes  please  have  a  reference  book,  once  such  book  is  
 
 
 
 
 The  Freshwater  Fishes  of  the  Indian  Region
 
 K.C.  Jayaram,  Narendra  Pub,  2010,  Revised  Second  Edition,  xxxii,  616  p,  39  Col.  Plates,  348  b/w  plates,  ISBN  :  81-907952-1-0
 
 Contents:  Systematic  Index.  1.  Introduction:  i.  Scope  and  arrangement.  ii.  Acknowledgements.  2.  Fish  identification:  i.  How  to  use  the  key.  ii.  How  to  collect  fish.  iii.  How  to  preserve  fish.  iv.  Care  of  the  collection.  v.  Field  notes  and  labelling.  3.  Classification:  i.  Measurements.  ii.  Counts.  4.  Systematic  account.  Glossary.  Bibliography.  Index  to  scientific  names.  Index  to  common  English  names.
 
 Plus  you  may  subscribe  to  the  ZSI  Journals  and  to  the  Journals  of  The  Bombay  Natural  History  Society  (BNHS).
 
 New  Species  not  mentioned  in  the  book  are  availabe  in  the  journals.
 
 Aslo  here  is  a  list  of  Fresh  Water  Fishes  Of  India  :-
 
 http://zsi.gov.in/checklist/Native%20freshwater%20Fishes%20of%20India.pdf
 
 Regards
 
 Sujoy
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Marc
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:57 pm Post subject: Re: One confusion Reply with quote

                                                   
Ashwin  wrote  (View  Post):                

 In  the  meantime,  if  someone  else  collects  the  very  same  specimens  from  the  same  area  and  has  it  described  faster  than  me.  What  will  be  the  status  of  my  specimens?  do  i  get  any  sort  of  claim  on  the  new  species?
                 

 
 You  will  have  no  claim  over  the  new  species  described.  Sad  
 
 That  is  why  we  (in  ZSI,SRC)  make  it  a   point  to  inform  the  collector  it  is  a  new  species  and  if  he  would  like  to  have  his  fish  back.  If  the  collector  feels  he  can  get  some  other  means  to  get  the  fish  discribed  we  send  his  samples  back  without  registering  them  so  that  he  can  send  it  to  some  other  institution  for  describing.
 
 If  the  collector  feels  he  cannot  do  that  but  prefers  to  risk  a  wait,  then  we  register  the  specimens  and  science  takes  its  course  and  time  Smile   
 
 
                                                 
Ashwin  wrote  (View  Post):                

 This  is  realistic  problem  because  people  who  are  not  equipped  with  the  taxonomic  skill  set  will  depend  on  a  third  person  to  study  and  identify  it,  at  the  same  time  if  a  taxonomist  lays  his  hands  on  the  species,  he  will  be  in  position  to  describe  it  earlier.                

 
 Again  I  would  like  to  say  describing  a  new  species  is  not  rocket  science  and  can  be  done  by  anybody.  It  is  just  the  interest  to  learn.  Dr.  Rohan  Pethiyagoda  was  a  chemical  engineer  before  he  became  an  ichthyologist.  
 
 We  also  have  Puntius  setnai  described  by  Chhapgar  &  Sane.  Sane  was  a  fish  collector  just  like  us.   Smile  
 
 I  sincerely  hope  some  of  us  would  branch  into  taxonomy  as  there  is  so  much  we  can  do.  There  are  more  undescribed  species  in  the  ZSI  collections  than  the  entire  western  ghats   Chuckle  
 
 There  are  8000  odd  registered  collections  and  equal  number  of  unregistered  collection  of  fishes  at  ZSI,  SRC.  There  is  only  one  Senior  scientist  with  two  junior  scientist  and  two  research  fellow  to  go  through  all  this............and  collections  keep  on  coming  in.
 
 I  am  willing  to  help  to  the  best  of  my  capacity  anybody  interested  in  IAH  to  take  up  a  species/group  for  study.  The  process  of  learning  may  sometime  be  difficult  but  it  pays  in  the  long  run.   Thumb Up
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:34 pm Post subject: Re: How to describe a new fish? Reply with quote

 Thanks  Marc  for  your  inputs.  .  .  cleared  a  lot  of  doubts
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Deepak267
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:36 pm Post subject: Re: How to describe a new fish? Reply with quote

 Very  Interesting  Thread..  
 
 I  am  really  glad  to  know  that  we  have  so  many  dedicated  hobbyist  and  professional  in  india.  
 
 Deepak
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:44 pm Post subject: Re: How to describe a new fish? Reply with quote

 Hi  Marc,
 
 Could  you  please  elaborate  on  the  Holotype  and  the  Paratype  ?  and  how  does  one  preserve  a  specimen  ?
 
 Regards
 
 Sujoy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:47 pm Post subject: Re: How to describe a new fish? Reply with quote

                                                   
joyban  wrote  (View  Post):                
Could  you  please  elaborate  on  the  Holotype  and  the  Paratype  ?  and  how  does  one  preserve  a  specimen  ?
                 

 
 Ok  I  will  explain  as  simple  as  possible........like  a  story  Smile  
 
 An  author  collects  around  10  specimens  and  he  feels  they  are  a  new  species.  Now  he  goes  about  describing  the  species.  He  takes  the  best,  most  complete,  least  damaged  fish  of  his  10  specimens  for  example  a  P.  filamentosus  male  with  beautiful  filaments  and  writes  his  description.  He  describes  the  colour/  shape/  scales/  fin  rays/  gill  rakers  etc....  he  even  draws  the  fish  (or  uses  its  photograph)  in  his  publication.  Now  this  male  P.  filamentosus  is  the  HOLOTYPE  because  the  entire  description  is  based  on  this  one  fish.
 
 Now  in  his  publication  he  wants  to  tell  about  the  sexual  dimorphism  between  the  male  and  female  P.  filamentosus,  so  he  picks  out  the  best  female  specimen  in  his  collection  and  uses  this  fish  just  for  this  part  of  his  description............now  this  fish  is  a  PARATYPE.  Now  there  may  be  more  than  one  paratype  specimen  if  the  author  chooses  more  specimens  to  elucidate  various  characters  like  juvenile/  breeding  pattern  etc.
 
 Now  the  holotype  and  paratype  have  to  designated  by  the  author  in  his  publication.  If  he  fails  to  do  that  we  only  know  that  he  used  10  specimens  to  carry  out  his  description  and  we  dont  know  any  holotype  or  paratype...........so  in  that  case  all  the  ten  specimens  are  called  SYNTYPES.
 
 Now  we  have  a  problem  with  early  authors  like  Hamilton  and  Jerdon  who  have  done  extensive  work  but  failed  to  deposit  their  collection  in  a  safe  place  for  future  generations.  Now  we  dont  know  what  fish  they  examined  but  we  know  from  where  they  got  it.........so  we  go  to  the  same  locality  and  collect  fish  ressembling  their  description.  Now  this  fish  collected  by  later  authors  from  the  type  locality  is  called  TOPOTYPE.  
 
 The  topotype  in  the  absence  of  the  holotype/  paratype/  syntype  can  be  designated  by  the  later  author  working  on  the  fish  as  a  NEOTYPE.  This  neotype  will  be  used  for  redescribing  the  fish  which  was  earlier  described.  Neotypes  can  also  be  designated  by  subsequent  authors  from  a  set  of  syntypes  in  the  absence  of  the  holotype  or  paratype.
 
 Hope  I  was  able  to  convey  the  meaning..................
 
 Now  coming  to  the  preservation  part  there  are  two  ways....one  is  using  formalin  (dilute  formaldehyde)  or  Alcohol.  Specimens  preserved  in  absolute  alcohol  can  be  used  for  DNA  studies.
 
 We  will  discuss  how  to  preserve  using  formalin  as  it  is  easier  to  obtain.
 
 Preparation  of  Formalin  solution.
 
 You  will  need  two  concentrations  10%  and  4%  formalin.
 
 The  commercially  available  formalin  is  40%  formaldehyde.  So  you  dilute  it  as  required.  
 
 Once  you  get  your  fish  try  to  preserve  as  fresh  as  possible.  It  reduces  scale  loss  and  distortion.  If  you  have  live  fish  you  can  choose  to  dunk  it  in  alive  which  is  heartless  or  you  can  anesthesize  the  fish  using  half  a  spoon  clove  oil  (available  for  tooth  ache  in  all  pharmacy)  in  one  litre  of  water.  This  is  a  heavy  dose  and  the  fish  will  float  in  coma  in  seconds  which  inturn  you  can  preserve.
 
 You  will  have  to  first  soak  it  for  48  hours  in  10%  formalin  and  then  shift  to  4%  formalin.  This  is  only  used  for  short  term  preservation.  You  will  have  to  preserve  it  in  50-75%  alcohol  if  you  want  your  fish  to  last  many  years.
 
 Try  to  spread  out  all  the  fins  and  dab  it  with  10%  formalin  so  that  they  stay  open,  close  the  mouth  and  opercles  before  you  soak  it.  If  you  using  a  jar,  preserve  the  fish  head  down  so  that  the  fins  dont  get  damaged.
 
 Phew..........that  was  a  long  one.  Hope  you  guys  understood.  Please  feel  free  to  ask  for  any  clarifications  in  areas  I  may  have  been  vague.  Thumb Up
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madhu_ulysses
Committed Member of IAH
Committed Member of IAH



Joined: Oct 28, 2004
Posts: 2450
Location: Salem, TN

Status: Offline
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:50 am Post subject: Re: How to describe a new fish? Reply with quote

 That  explains  it  all  Marc.   Thumb Up  BTW,  did  you  forget  the  anus  injection?   We  wont  let  you  go  lazy.   Very Happy  
 
 In  addition  to  Marc's,  try  taking  pictures  of  live  specimen  before  preserving  them.   It  would  be  a  better  idea  if  you  could  take  a  few  pictures  and  note  on  fin/scale  count.   After  its  dead  pin  down  the  fish  on  a  thermocol  sheet  with  fins  spread  and  take  clear  photographs  of  the  below:
 
 -Dorsal  view,  lateral  view  &  anterior  view
 -Clear  pictures  of  snout  &  mouth  parts  showing  barbels  (if  any).
 -Fin  count;  Dorsal,  Pectoral,  Pelvic,  Anal  and  Caudal.
 
 It  would  also  help  if  you  note  down  the  no  of  branched/unbranched  rays  in  dorsal,  pectoral,  pelvic  and  anal  fins  and  no  of  rays  on  each  lobe  of  the  caudal  fin  if  forked/emarginate.   Also  note  the  no  of  scales  on  the  lateral  line,  transverse  scale  count  and  whether  or  not  the  lateral  line  is  complete.   In  case  you  are  going  on  multiple  trips,  you  can  maintain  a  log  which  could  come  in  very  handy  for  later  use/reference.
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Ashwin
Regular Poster on IAH
Regular Poster on IAH



Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 263


Status: Offline
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:06 am Post subject: Re: How to describe a new fish? Reply with quote

 This  is  what  is  called  good  solid  information  .  .  .  Marc,  Madhu  and  all  other  contributors  great  job.
 
 Small  query.  .  .  is  it  mandatory  to  deposited  any  specimen  (Indian)  requiring  an  ID  with  ZSI,  can  anyone  register  their  specimens  abroad  with  other  institutes?
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