A new species of loach in northern Myanmar is reported jointly by researchers from Kunming Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National University of Singapore and Forest Research Institute of Myanmar. It was described herein as Mustura yangi and was published online on 18th July in Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.
Putao of northern Myanmar has special species diversity in the Southeast Asia Region and one of the hotspots of biodiversity in the world. During aseries of field surveys conducted in the Mali Hka River drainage aroundthe vicinity of Putao, North Kachin, Myanmar. Some unusual specimens of Nemacheilidae fish collected by researchers from China, Swiss and Manmar, which were identifiedto be new species to science.
According to the diagnostic characters of genus Mustura in morphological characteristics and molecular phylogenetic evidences, Maurice Kottelat suggested that most species of Physoschistura and a few species of Schistura, from Southeast Asian areas, should be moved to the genus Mustura. Up till now, 16 valid species were included in the genus Mustura.
Mustura yangiis distinguished from its congeners of Mustura based on the following combination of characters: 6-7 dark grey bars on flank, often dissociated into a blotch and a saddle; numerous and irregular spots on the head; extremely dorsally situated eyes; well formed axillary pelvic lobe, prominent air-bladder with a minute posterior chamber in abdominal cavity; males with suborbital flap; lateral line complete; a slender caudal peduncle, its depth 1.6-1.9 times in its length, 8.6-10.1% SL; caudal fin forked; largest recorded size 56.0 mm SL.
Mustura yangi is known only from Mali Hka drainage on Putao plain, a tributary of Irrawaddy River in northern Myanmar.
This research was supported by Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences,the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund (Fishes of Biodiversity Monitoring and Network Construction along Lancang-Mekong River Basin project). And published as "Mustura yangi, a new species of loach (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae) from Putao, Irrawaddy drainage, northern Myanmar"on Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.
Fig. 1 Mustura yangi sp. nov., KIZ 2015006384, holotype, 55.8 mm SL, male; Myanmar: Kachin State: Putao District: Tanjar Chaung. Live colouration (Qin et al, 2022).
Fig. 2 Suborbital flap of Mustura yangi sp. nov., KIZ 2015006390, paratype, 40.4 mm SL, female (Qin et al, 2022). Scale bar 1 mm.
Fig. 3 Ventral view of head of Mustura yangi sp. nov., CMK 26537, paratype, 46.5 mm SL (Qin et al, 2022).
Fig. 4 Type locality of Mustura yangi; Myanmar: Kachin State: Putao District: Tanjar Chaung (Qin et al, 2022). 26 December 2015.
Fig. 5 Northern Myanmar, showing the known localities (black stars) of Mustura yangi (Qin et al, 2022).