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May 2012 | Vol. 4 | No. 5 | Pages 2553–2616 Date of Publication 26 May 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)

Polypedates taeniatus

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Herpetofauna of Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh, India Abhijit Das 1, Dhruvajyoti Basu 2, Laurel Converse 3 & Su­resh C. Choudhury 4 Division of Herpetology, Aaranyak, Samanwoy Path, Beltola, Guwahati, Assam 781028, India Katerniaghat Foundation, India C-421, Sector-B, Mahanagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226006, India 3 Laurel Converse, 14 Eton Overlook, Rockville, MD 20850, USA Email: 1 abhijit@aaranyak.org (corresponding author), 3 ghariallaurel@gmail.com, 4 wildcraft20@gmail.com 1

2, 4

Date of publication (online): 26 May 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 May 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Indraneil Das Manuscript details: Ms # o2587 Received 27 September 2010 Final received 07 March 2012 Finally accepted 18 March 2012 Citation: Das, A., D. Basu, L. Converse & S.C. Choudhury (2012). Herpetofauna of Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(5): 2553–2568. Copyright: © Abhijit Das, Dhruvajyoti Basu, Laurel Converse & Suresh C. Choudhury 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. For Author Details, Author Contribution and Acknowledgements see end of this article.

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Abstract: A herpetofaunal inventory based on field surveys, literature records and photographic records is presented for Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary and its environs, situated in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, India. We list a total of 10 species of amphibians and 42 species of reptiles from the area. Compiled observations presented here include biological notes on the Critically Endangered Gavialis gangeticus and new locality records and natural history information of poorly known species including Polypedates taeniatus and Sibynophis sagittarius. Besides recording members of currently recognized species complexes, the study also documents species that were either conferred to closely related species (e.g., Fejervarya cf. teraiensis) or their identity remains to be ascertained (e.g., Kaloula sp.). The present study indicates that species count at Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is likely to increase with additional surveys and systematic work. Keywords: Herpetofauna, India, inventory, Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Terai.

INTRODUCTION Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (27055’–28025’N & 810–81025’E), is located in Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh. This typical Terai ecosystem is spread over an area of 400km2 and is characterized by extensive alluvial plains, wetlands, grasslands, woodlands and moist forests. The vegetation of the study area can be categorized into riverine forests, mixed Sal forest, teak Tectona grandis plantation, woodlands and alluvial grasslands. Except riverine forests which are characterised by the dominance of moist evergreen species, all other categories are deciduous in nature (Tripathi & Singh 2009). The riverine habitat (Girwa River) of the Sanctuary (18km length) is bounded upstream by the Nepalese border and downstream by the Girijapuri Barrage. The sanctuary is home to large animals such as tiger, elephant, leopard and Gangetic dolphin, and is regarded as an important habitat of the Critically Endangered Gavialis gangeticus. The Sanctuary also holds a key population of Crocodilus palustris and several freshwater turtle species. Past studies on herpetofauna include those of Hallermann et al. (2001), Basu (1989) and Talukdar & Dasgupta (1977). However, general information on diversity and distribution of herpetofaunal species is scanty.

Abbreviations: BMNH - The Natural History Museum, London; ZSIC - Zoological Survey of India Kolkata; ZMH - Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum von Hamburg. SCL - Straight carapace length; CCL - Curve carapace length; PL - Plastral length; SVL - Snout to vent length, TL - Tail length.

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Study Area The field investigations were conducted in the following localities: Base Camp (28020.243’N & 81007.855’E): Human habitation surrounded by degraded grasslands, secondary growth and abandoned constructions; Boat point (28020.310’N & 81007.858’E): Open grassland area and river; Girjapuri Barrage road (28016.557’N & 81006.140’E): Forest road surrounded by thick woodland and waterbodies; Vaisalot, Nishangada (28014.155’N & 81012.919’E): Deciduous forest, teak plantation and swampy areas; Mayla Nullah (28020.396’N & 81006.876’E): small channel of Girwa River having thick forest and cane brakes along two sides; Kauriala (28018.401’N & 81005.586’E): large riverine habitat with dense riverside grasslands; Bhabanipur Village (28019.968’N & 81008.738’E): Human habitation and grazing lands, scrub and open forest; Amba (28019.142’N, 81009.851’E): riverside habitat with grazing lands and deciduous forest; Amba Ghat (28018.924’N & 81010.869’E): riverside open area with human habitation and plantation areas; Watch Tower Point (28019.968’N & 81008.738’E): Riverside extensive riverside moist grassland; Madhab Nullah (28020.277’N & 81006.135’E): channel of Girwa River with extensive grassland and woodland on both side; Gharial Nesting Island (28020.146’N & 81008.824’E): Sandy river island with grassy patches, the mass gharial nesting spot; Mahadeva Taal: 28018.401’N & 81005.586’E: Large wetland with extensive macrophytic growth (Image 1).

MATERIALS AND METHODS Field records for the study comes from observations of AD and LC from 11 to 30 June 2008; 4 to 22 December 2008 and 28 February to 08 March 2009. However, the study also incorporates other literature records and reliable photographic records. Field observations were made opportunistically. Data have been supplemented with the earlier observations of DB and SC from in and around the Sanctuary. Active searches involving turning rocks and logs, peeling bark and digging through leaf litter. During the day, besides active search, basking reptiles were also searched along forest trails, forest edges and along 2554

river banks. Crocodiles were observed from motor boats, river shore transects and from watch tower. For frogs, observations were sometimes made on the basis of calls heard along forest trail, forest edges and along streams between 1800–2200 h, aided by flashlights. Records of road kills and dead specimens in fishing nets were studied and incorporated in this paper. Individuals of the species were captured by hand and released at the point of capture after examination or were observed using a binocular. A Canon Digital S3IS was used for photography. Data on locality, habitat and microhabitat, sex, reproductive data, syntopic species (if any) were recorded. Behavioural observations were recorded in a field data sheet. Morphometric data on specimens were used for identification. Frogs, lizards and snakes were released at their respective capture site once their specific identity and photography was over. Geographic coordinates for survey sites were recorded with a Garmin 12 receiver GPS. Interactions with local residents were held to make them aware of the local herpetofauna and to supplement field observations. Species were identified using the keys of Smith (1935, 1943); Schleich & Kästle (2002); Das (1995); and Dutta (1997). Nomenclature and taxonomic arrangement in the text follows Frost (2009) for amphibian, Das (2003) and Uetz (2007) for reptiles. Species account Amphibians Bufonidae Gray, 1825 Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799): Recorded from Base camp, Girjapuri Barrage, Bhabanipur and near staff quarters. Frequently encountered in and around human habitations, plantations, river banks, under rocks, wood piles and roadside areas. Duttaphrynus stomaticus (Lütken, 1862): Recorded from near Base camp during June 2008. The individual was feeding on insects on a forest trail surrounded by human habitation and degraded grassland at around 2000h. Dicroglossidae Anderson, 1871 Hoplobatrachus tigerinus (Daudin, 1803): Calling aggregation was observed during June. Individuals found to inhabit temporary water pool, mud bank and

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Image 1. Map of Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, India

open grassy space. Calling males are yellowish in colour dorsally. This colouration is reported to be an indicator of good general physiological condition and sexual activity in males (Abdulali 1985). Juveniles observed in the month of June along the river bank. The species frequently observed as road-kill on the segment between Katerniaghat to Bicchia. Fejervarya cf. teraiensis (Dubois, 1984): Recorded from Boat point. Individuals had a broad cream coloured mid dorsal line; dorsum with longitudinal skin folds, light in colour, whitish patches along side of body, forelimb and hind limb not very distinctly barred. Observed in moist grass near river. Fejervarya

teraiensis was reported from Uttar Pradesh by Hegde et al. (2009) and eastward up to Nagaland (Ao et al. 2003). However, the species is reported to be present in the entire Terai zone of Nepal inhibiting 71–400 m elevation (Schleich & Kästle 2002). Fejervarya sp.: Recorded from Boat point and base camp. Individuals of the species are characterised by absence of a mid-dorsal line; dorsum with dark brown blotches, longitudinal skin fold absent, limbs barred throughout. It inhabits areas with moist grass near seasonal and perennial water bodies. The species differs from Fejervarya nepalensis in not having a mid dorsal line, from Fejervarya pierrei

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in absence of middorsal line and long longitudinal skin folds, from F. teraiensis in having a small size (F. teraiensis, SVL 43–51). However, the species showed close resemblance with Fejervarya syhadrensis (absence of mid-dorsal line, absence of dorsal longitudinal skin folds and small SVL 33mm) but only differs in absence of reddish or orange patches which considered to be an important character for F. syhadrensis (sensu Schleich & Kastle 2002). Further investigation with good sample size might help in specific identity of this species. Euphylectis cyanophlyctis (Schneider, 1799): Frequently encountered in lentic and lotic habitats in and around the sanctuary. The species is used as fishing bait in the fringe areas. Microhylidae Günther, 1858 Kaloula sp. (Image 2): The first individual of this interesting microhylid was observed on 12 June 2008. It fell from a Cassia tree from a height of 6–7 m as it was dislodged from tree hole by a Varanus bengalensis. The second individual was recorded on 21 June at 1900h. Its head was protruding from a hole in a standing dead tree ca. 1.2m above ground. Both frogs were found near base camp close to grassland forest edge. The two individuals showed colouration similar to K. assamensis and morphometrical similarity to K. taprobanica however with different web formula (I½–1II½–2III2–2IV2½–½V). A similar animal is depicted in the Schleich & Kästle (2002) where it is

treated under the nomen Kaloula taprobanica. Due to paucity of sample, we could not ascertain its specific status and suggest further study of the Katerniaghat population. Microhyla ornata (Duméril & Bibron, 1841): Large calling aggregation was recorded around base camp and boat point during June. Individuals call from moist grass and leaf litter of open grassland especially after rains. Rhacophoridae Hoffman, 1932 Polypedates taeniatus (Boulenger, 1906) (Image 3): Calling aggregation was observed during 16–21 June 2008 near boat point. Calling males were observed on moist grass blades, bushes and on ferns and were located ca. 70cm–1.5m above the ground. Ray (1991) reported the species as Rhacophorus tanieatus from Dudhwa National Park and recorded the habitat of the species as tall grassy patches near dense Sal Shorea robusta forest with considerable undergrowth of herbaceous plants. However, during this study individuals were only recorded from open grassland. Type locality of the species is Purnia (Bihar). We observed a colour photograph of the species from

© Abhijit Das

© Abhijit Das

Image 2. Kaloula sp. 2556

Image 3. Polypedates taeniatus Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | May 2012 | 4(5): 2553–2568


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A. Das et al. © Abhijit Das

© Abhijit Das

Image 4. Chiromantis dudhwaensis Image 5.Hemidactylus flaviviridis

Behala area of West Bengal. Eastward, the species is recorded from north bank alluvial grasslands of Assam (Ahmed & Dutta 2000). Elsewhere, it was recorded from Nepal and Bangladesh (Anders et al. 1998). Chiromantis dudhwaensis (Ray, 1992) (Image 4): Calling aggregation of the species was recorded near Base Camp and Ferry Ghat during June 2008. Calling individuals were photographed from waterlogged and marshy areas inhabiting shrubs, grass blades and Ipomea sp. at 50cm–1.5m above substrate. A detail note on the breeding habit of the species appears in Biswas (2000). Reptiles Gekkonidae Gray, 1825 Hemidactylus flaviviridis Rüpell, 1835 (Image 5): Base Camp, Watch Tower; Individuals also observed on Ficus tree bark at 170cm height and under woodpiles near houses. This is the common house gecko of the study area. Earlier records of the species is from Nishangada (15km from the base camp) by Hallermann et al. (2001). Hemidactylus brookii Gray, 1845: Individuals were found inhibiting house walls up to 3m from the ground. However, majority of the encounters are from low walls, culverts and on the ground. Gravid females observed in the month of June. Employing a molecular systematic approach Bauer et al. (2010) recovered two distinct clad what has long been considered a single, but polytypic, Hemidactylus

 

brookii. One consisting of specimens from Borneo (Sarawak), Myanmar, Peninsular Malaysia and Karnataka, southwestern India, and another specimen from Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Kerala, southwestern India. The name H. brookii is restricted to the species occurring in East Asia and in parts of India (including Karnataka, but probably most of the subcontinent). The available name H. parvimaculatus was applied to population of southern India and Sri Lanka and is found to be restricted to that zone. Bauer et al. (2010) also indicated towards further hidden species within Indian H. brookii population. Keeping the taxonomic uncertainty in mind and lacking detail in morphological and molecular data, we keep our Katerniaghat taxa confer to Hemidactylus brookii pending further studies. Hemidactylus frenatus Schlegel, 1836: One individual of the species was photographed from Vaisalot of Nishangada. It was located under an information board of a teak plantation area by day. Agamidae Gray, 1827 Calotes versicolor (Daudin, 1802): Recorded from Base Camp, Nishangada, Bhabanipur Village. Inhabit grassland, scrub, plantation and human habitation. Majority of the individuals were sighted in arboreal situations 30cm–4m above ground. Males in breeding colouration were observed during June. In northern India, they are known to lay eggs during summer (Das

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© Abhijit Das

Image 7. Python bivittatus  

Image 6. Lygosoma punctata

2002). We observed juveniles during the month of December. Scincidae Gray, 1825 Eutropis carinata (Schneider, 1801): Observed from Bhawanipur Village during June. A single individual was foraging among leaf-litter of a teak plantation area close to human habitations. Earlier, the species had been recorded from Nishangada (Hallermann et al. 2001). Lygosoma punctata (Gmelin, 1799) (Image 6): Recorded from near the base camp during March 2009. The individual was found among accumulated leaf-litter near degraded grassland and plantation area at around 1100h. Varanidae Merrem, 1820 Varanus bengalensis (Daudin, 1802): Individuals were sighted in the backyard of human habitation, along the river bank, grassland, teak plantation, agriculture fields and even seen crossing paved roads. Individuals were observed in arboreal situations ca. at 2–5 m above ground. A juvenile was observed during the month of June. Varanus flavescens (Hardwicke & Gray, 1827): Photographed by SC on metalled forest road in the buffer area of Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary on 06 June 2010. The area was surrounded by teak plantation area. Typhlopidae Merrem, 1820 Ramphotyphlops brahminus (Daudin, 1803): Found inside a cracked floor of the base camp at 2558

  around 2130h.

Boidae Gray, 1825 Eryx conicus (Schneider, 1801): The record of the species is based on Hallermann et al. (2001) from Nishangada. Pythonidae Fitzinger, 1826 Python bivittatus Kuhl, 1820 (Image 7): Recorded from near the base camp. During June, one individual was observed while it was crossing paved road at around 1840h. surrounded by grassland and plantation area. Two basking individuals were observed under thick Ipomea growth during February 2009 near abandoned Katerniaghat railway station. This area is a known nesting site for pythons in the area (Romulus Whitaker, pers. comm. June 2008). We observed remains of eggshells, suggesting earlier nesting activity. Python bivittatus is recently been re-assessed as a distinct species by Jacobs et al. (2009). The westernmost distributional limit of this species is represented by three disjunct wild populations known from Royal Chitwan National Park, Royal Bardia National Park of Nepal and Corbett Tiger Reserve of India (Barker & Barker 2008). SC also photographed the same subspecies from the nearby (90km to the west of Katerniaghat WLS) Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh. Thus, report of Python bivittatus from Katerniaghat and Dudhwa further fill in the distributional gap in India. Colubridae Oppel, 1811 Amphiesma stolatum (Linnaeus 1758): First

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Image 8. Dendrelaphis tristis

© Abhijit Das

 

sighting is from the Katerniaghat Forest Range Office while it was moving among leaflitter of a teak plantation area during June 2008. Subsequently, on 14 June 2008, one dead female was observed on a forest trail surrounded by Terai grasslands. Boiga forsteni (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854): Hallermann et al. (2001) recorded the species from Nishangada area of the sanctuary. The photograph of an individual female (SVL 1680mm, TL 376mm) provided in that paper corresponds to the variety 1 as described in Mohapatra et al. (2009). Chrysopelia ornata (Shaw, 1802): Record of the species is based on Basu (1989) who reported a specimen with pholidosis: ventral 214, subcaudals: 115, scale row 18: 16. Dendrelaphis tristis (Daudin, 1803) (Image 8): One male (SVL 670mm, TL: 315mm) from human habitation and plantation forest edge near the base camp during March 2009. It was occupying a hole within the entrance gate to a house. The individual was reported to be regularly using the hole from more than 20 days. The nearby areas include extensive lemon plantation and grassland. Pholidosis: supralabials 9/9, 5 and 6 touches eye, infralabials 10/10, first five touches anterior genial, sixth touches posterior genial, preocular: 1, postocular: 2, temporals: 2+2; ventral: 195, anal: 2; subcaudals: 110, dorsal scale rows: 15:15:11. Enhydris sieboldii (Schlegel, 1837): A female individual (SVL 645mm, TL 93mm) reported from Nishangada by Hallermann et al. (2001).

Image 9. Lycodon aulicus

Lycodon aulicus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Image 9): First individual was found in a crevice of a wooden window frame ca. 2.5m above ground at around 1900h during June 2008. Another individual was obtained from a wall crack of the same building during June. One individual was killed by a Rattus sp. All the individuals had small yellowish bars that broaden laterally and dissolve into yellowish edged lateral scales. Thus, corresponds to the variety forma typica. Lycodon jara (Shaw, 1802): Talukdar & Dasgupta (1977) reported a specimen of Lycodon jara from Katerniaghat and was the first record of the species from Uttar Pradesh. Further western record of the species is from Dehradun and Rajaji National Park (Hussain & Roy 1992). Although the species was repeatedly collected from Orissa, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh (Boulenger 1913; Whitaker & Captain 2004; Abhijit Das pers. obs. 2007) Assam (Sclater 1891; Das et al. 2009) Meghalaya (Sclater 1891), Manipur (Singh 1995) and Mizoram (Abhijit Das pers. obs. 2009). It is also known from Nepal and Bangladesh. Ptyas mucosa (Linnaeus, 1758) (Image 10): Single individual was rescued from human habitation close to extensive Terai grassland during June. Locally known as “Dhamin”. Psammodynastes pulverulentus (Boie, 1827): The record of the species is from Nishangada (ZMH R 04825), 5km south of the Nepal border by Hallermann et al. (2001). In India, the southernmost distributional limit of the species is Mahendragiri (18.560N &

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Image 11. Sibynophis sagittarius

© Abhijit Das

Image 10. Ptyas mucosa

 

84.21 E; elev.1093m) Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh (Mohapatra et al. 2010), northern West Bengal (Ahmed & Dasgupta 1992), northeastern India (Ahmed et al. 2009). The Katerniaghat record appears to be the westernmost distributional limit of the species. Also found in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines (Schleich & Kästle 2002; Das 2002). Sibynophis sagittarius (Cantor, 1839) (Image 11): A specimen was observed and photographed by DB in the area lying between Bhabanipur Village and Amba in March. It was found below leaf-litter beneath riverine forest undergrowth adjoining a cattle trail. Sibynophis sagittarius is often considered as junior synonym of Sibynophis subpunctatus (Wall 1907 & Morgan 1973). Captain et al. (2004) showed that S. sagittarius and S. subpunctatus are morphologically distinct and geographically disjunct in their distribution. S. sagittarius is currently known from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal (Wall 1923; BMNH 1930.5.8. 161 dried skull; Sclater 1891; Ahmed & Dasgupta 1992; Das 2002; Saikia et al. 2007; Dutta et al. 2009). Record of the species from northeastern India, Assam, Nicobars, Myanmar and Malaysia (Sclater 1891; Boulenger 1893; Das 2002; Schleich & Kästle 2002; Captain et al. 2004) are doubtful or erroneous (Wall 1923; Ahmed & Dasgupta 1992; Ahmed et al. 2009; www.calacademy. org/research/herpetology/myanmar). Elsewhere it is known from Nepal (Schleich & Kästle 2002) and Bangladesh (Kabir et al. 2009). 0

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Xenochrophis piscator (Schneider, 1799): One juvenile was caught from the boat point while it was moving through moist grass near the river during June. One individual (SVL 40cm, TL 10cm) was found in shallow water near a sand bar of the Girwa River during December. Largest individual (SVL 80cm and TL: 30cm) was found dead on a fishing hook near KorialaGirwa confluence. The individual had pholidosis: 145 ventrals, 83 subcaudals, anal: 2, 19:19:17 rows of scales, 9 supralabial of which 4 and 5 touch eye, 9 infralabial, first 5 touch anterior genial, postocular 2, preocular 1, temporal 2+2. The postocular streak not distinct and neck is without distinct crossband. Only the outer edges of the ventral scales were black. Xenochrophis schnurrenbergeri Kramer, 1977: Specimen number ZMH R04814 collected from Nishangada, Uttar Pradesh was reported by Hallermann et al. (2001) as Xenochrophis piscator piscator. This specimen was later identified as Xenochrophis schnurrenbergeri by Vogel & David (2006), and reported as a first record of the species for northern India. Of late, X. schnurrenbergeri is reported from Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam (Ahmed et al. 2009, Purkayastha et al. 2010, Mohapatra et al. 2010). Also found in Nepal (Kramer 1977). Elapidae Boie, 1827 Bungarus caeruleus (Schneider, 1801): One individual was observed near Katerniaghat bus stop at night. The area is surrounded by human habitation. Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider, 1801) (Image 12): One individual was photographed during December 2007 near Katerniaghat forest range office. It was

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© Suresh Choudhury

Image 12. Bungarus fasciatus

active on a forest trail at night (Ramesh Pandey, pers. comm. June 2008). Naja naja (Linnaeus, 1758) (Image 13): Recorded from Nishangada while it was crossing a paved road surrounded by teak plantation area at 1030hr during June. The second individual was killed when it entered human habitation near Base Camp. This venomous species is locally known as “Phitara”. Viperidae Boie, 1827 Daboia russelii (Shaw & Nodder, 1797): Observed in the Amba-Bhawanipur Village watch tower point area in riverside habitat close to grassland-forest edge. Juvenile observed basking in riverside grass patch close to forest trail. During summer, one adult was seen in a tree hole at the base of the trunk. Trionychidae Fitzinger, 1826 Chitra indica (Gray, 1831): Single individual was recorded basking on a flat, sandy riverbank of Amba ghat at around 1030h during December 2008. Two individuals of Nilssonia gangeticus were also observed at the same spot in December 2008. Local people narrated that the species start nesting from July and continue up to October. Das (1995) reported that in the Chambal region, the species nests from end August up to mid- September. It is not conclusively known if double clutching occurs in the species in which case the first clutch could be laid at the beginning of the rainy season in July or

© Abhijit Das

Image 13. Naja naja

even earlier in June when the monsoon start, while the second clutch could follow about a month and half later in August–September. Ashutosh Tripathi, studying the reproductive biology of the species confirms its earliest nesting on 17 July in the Ganga River in Farrukhabad District in Uttar Pradesh. Nilssonia gangeticus (Cuvier, 1825): Recorded at various points along the 4km Girwa River stretch from boat point to Amba Ghat. Frequently observed on newly emerged sandbars where they bask with gharials. Individuals often spotted while surfacing for breathing. One individual was seen feeding on submerged vegetation during February 2009. In northern India (Chambal River), Vasudevan (1998) recorded the nesting season from late July to end of October with peak activity during late August. We presume that similar nesting season prevail in Katerniaghat also. Nilssonia hurum (Gray, 1831): Reported as Aspideretes hurum by Hallerman et al. (2001) from Nishangada area of the sanctuary. N. hurum has been reported from other parts of the Terai by Das et al. (2010). Lissemys punctata andersoni Webb, 1980 (Image 14): During August 2006, one individual was photographed in a grazing ground next to the Girwa River (Ramesh Pandey, pers. comm. June 2008).

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© Abhijit Das

Image 15. Melanochelys trijuga

© Abhijit Das

Image 14. Lissemys punctata andersoni

 

Earlier, specimens (ZMH R00856-59) were reported from Monem River, Nishangada by Hallermann et al. (2001). Geoemydidae Theobald, 1868 Cyclemys gemeli Fritz, Guicking, Auer, Sommer, Wink & Hundsdörfer, 2008: Fritz et al. (2008) showed that sub adult female ZMH R00288 collected from Nishangada, Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, India, approximately 5km S. Nepali border, leg. G.A. von Maydell during German India Expedition 1955/1957 represents the newly described Cyclemys gemeli thus making the record as the westernmost distributional limit of the species in India. Elsewhere, the species is reported from localities in northeastern India and northern West Bengal (Das et al. 2009; Praschag et al. 2009). Geoclemys hamiltonii (Gray, 1831): One shell (SCL 31cm) was observed near a seasonal water pool at the grassland-deciduous forest edge. Forest staff narrated that the turtle was presumably killed and eaten by local ‘Tharu’ people. Hardella thurjii (Gray, 1831): Observed by SC in streams and rivulets leading to Mahadeva Tal. Earlier, Das (1995) reported the species from the Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. H. thurjii is apparently less frequently encountered in large rivers and more frequently in smaller slow flowing streams and wetlands such as beels in Assam. Similar suitable 2562

Image 16. Melanochelys tricarinata

habitats also available in Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. Thus we presume that, further survey will record new distributional localities for the species from the study area. Melanochelys trijuga (Schweigger, 1914) (Image 15): An individual male (CCL 12cm, PL 8cm.) encountered while it was crossing Barrage road at around 1730hr during June 2008. The area is surrounded by thick forest and water bodies. Based on subspecific characters provided in Das (1995), we refer our individual to the subspecies Melanochelys trijuga indopeninsularis. Melanochelys tricarinata (Blyth, 1856) (Image 16): First male (CCL: 190mm, PL: 120mm. carapace width: 97mm) was recorded from Watch tower road on 21 June 2008 at 1620hr. It was crossing the forest

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© Suresh Choudhury

Image 17. Morenia petersi

trail surrounded by extensive terai grassland. The males carry a distinct plastral concavity. One female (PL 115mm, SCL 135mm) was recorded during March 2009 while it was crossing grassland trail at 0850h. Morenia petersi (Anderson, 1879) (Image 17): Recorded from near Mahadeva Tal in the month of December 2008. Mahadeva Tal is a large wetland/ Marsh area with extensive macrophytic growth. In Uttar Pradesh, the species was reported from Dudhwa National Park (Javed & Hanfee 1995). In India, Morenia petersi is known from Uttarakhand (Bahuguna 2010), Bihar and West Bengal (Das 1995), Assam (Ahmed et al. 2009). Also found in Bangladesh and Nepal. Pangshura tectum (Gray, 1831) (Image 18): Two basking individuals were observed from Maila Nullah during June. The individuals were observed on logs close to thick cane brake of Maila Nullah. During February, one complete shell (SCL 82mm, PL 74.25mm) was obtained from near a temporary water pool of grassland-deciduous forest edge. During October 2009, SC photographed an individual on the left efflux embankment of Girwa Barrage while it was crossing the road in the evening. This species appears to avoid open large rivers unlike the closely related P. tentoria and P. smithii which were recorded from Girwa river. Pangshura tentoria (Gray, 1834) (Image 19): Most frequently observed turtle species during the study period. Sighting records are from Boat point, watch tower, Amba and Bhabanipur. Individuals frequently observed while basking on river-side logs as well as in mid river. Individuals also observed on

© Suresh Choudhury

Image 18. Pangshura tectum

 

© Abhijit Das

Image 19. Pangshura tentoria flaviventer

 

accumulated vegetation on a log sharing the basking space with juvenile Gharial. Egg lying was observed during December 2008. A total of nine nests were traced from flat sandbank of Amba Ghat. The nests are located at a distance of 15– 32m from water and are close to grassy patches. The clutch size observed as 7–9 elongated eggs measuring 44.40 x 25.15 mm. One female (CCL 230mm, SCL 215mm, PL 225mm) found while it was digging the sand at around 1300h. Urinates when captured. Hallermann (2001) reported the subspecies P. tentoria tentoria from Nishangada, however, our individuals correspond to the subspecies Pangshura tentoria flaviventer in having an unpatterned yellowish plastron, a yellowish stripe on first three vertebrae, head brownish with a pink patch behind the eyes. Schleich & Kästle (2002) regarded P. tentoria flaviventer as distinct species without detail description. However,

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we maintain the P. tentoria flaviventer following Fritz & Havas (2007). Pangshura smithii (Gray, 1863): Single individual was photographed while it was basking on a log close to watch tower river bank at around 0930hr during March 2009. Two individuals of P. tentoria were also basking on the same log. We are unable to comment on the subspecific status of the individual encountered. The nominate subspecies Pangshura smithii smithii characterised by a blotched plastron is known from Katerniaghat (Das 1995). Crocodylidae Cuvier, 1807 Crocodylus palustris Lesson, 1831 (Image 20): Recorded from Boat point, Nesting Island, Madhab Nullah, Mayla Nullah, Bhabanipur, Barrage, Amba and Occur syntopically with Gharial. However, from the observed comparative abundance of the two species it would seem that the Gharial is more abundant in the open river which is avoided by Mugger, the latter preferring stagnant and semi stagnant habitats of wetlands and smaller streams. Basking individuals were observed on sandbanks, sandbars, vegetated river bank as well as mudbank. Large individuals found inhabiting small rivulets ca. 2–3 km away from the main channel. Capable of climbing ca. >600 riverbank and utilise riverbanks with grassy ledges for resting. Muggers were also found inhabiting small to large wetlands with extensive macrophytic growth. An individual feeding on a bovine carcass was observed during July. During August, one individual was recorded to feed on a Gharial hatchling. In Katerniaghat, nesting season coincides with that of the Gharial and a nest was located in July on the same river Island where communal nesting of Gharial occurred. The nest was 24cm deep, clutch size is 18 eggs and each egg measured 77.20 x 49.74 mm. Gavialidae Gmelin, 1789 Gavialis gangeticus (Gmelin, 1789) (Image 21): Basking individuals were observed on sand banks and sand bars. Newly created sand bars are frequently used and those in the mid river or which are remotely placed sand bars are preferred for basking. Besides using sand banks, juveniles also bask on mud banks and on emergent logs or vegetation lodged into the river bed. Basking places sometimes shared with Crocodilus 2564

© Abhijit Das

Image 20. Crocodilus palustris

© Abhijit Das

Female

Subadult

Image 21. Gavialis gangeticus  

palustris, Nilssonia gangeticus, Pangshura tentoria, Dendrocygna javanica and Tadorna ferruginea. The highest count for a single day was 105 individuals on 09 December 2008 of which 35 were recognized as adults. Largest number of adult males with “gharas” were eight on 20 December 2008. During high water in June–July, large individuals were observed inside small sub channels, 1–2 km from main river channels. Communal nesting was observed on a 40m long and 6–7 m wide sandy island with grassy patches. Nesting began in March. Nests were observed as 32–40 cm deep. One nest had 46 eggs. Average size of the eggs measured 82.21 x 60.07. Hatchlings measuring SVL 132–150 mm, TL 180–190 mm (N = 5) observed on 16 June 2008. Five to six hatchlings were seen taking refuge near grassy roots or in depressions along the

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river bank. The first Gharial population survey in Katerniaghat was in 1975–1976, and previous to our work, the last study of Gharial was done in 2001–2002 (Singh 1978; Srivastava 1981; Singh 2003). From 2008–09, we found 27 nests; a 7% increase since 2001 and 96% increase since 1975. Nests were found in seven sites. Additionally, one clutch was found in shallow water and five eggs were deposited in the open on a sand bar (not in a nest). Two nests were destroyed by flooding/ erosion. The island on which most Gharial had nested since 1988 was completely destroyed by floods during July 2008, and most nests were lost. The concentration of nests in such small areas makes the population vulnerable. A detailed paper on gharial population and habitat study in Katerniaghat WS is in preparation.

Discussion Based on field and literature records, the study documents 42 species of reptiles belonging to 14 families and 32 genera and 10 species of amphibians belonging to four families and eight genera. The family Colubridae is the most speciose genus with 12 species; Geoemydidae with nine species; Trionychidae and Dicroglossidae with four species; Gekkonidae three species; families Bufonidae, Microhylidae, Rhacophoridae, Varanidae, Scincidae, Elapidae each with two species; Agamidae, Typhlopidae, Boidae, Pythonidae, Viperidae, Crocodilidae, and Gavialidae with a single species each. The record of Calotes maria, a Khasi Hill endemic agamid by Hallermann et al. (2001) from Nishangada, Uttar Pradesh, needs to be verified. As the collection in that paper also includes specimens collected from northeastern India and northern West Bengal, so we presume that record s of C. maria, E. multifasciata and H. platyurus might have been collected from eastern India and the collection localities are mistakenly recorded as “Nishangada”. During the present survey, few herpetofaunal species were recorded, the identity of which are either unknown or conferred to closely related species (e,g, Kaloula sp., Fejervarya sp. Fejervarya cf. teraiensis). These provisionally identified species may represent previously unknown species, or are members of cryptic species complexes.

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According to Bain et al. (2003), most of the species complexes are widespread, although the member species can have only limited ranges within this broad range. Members of the species complexes encountered are Calotes versicolor (Zug et al. 2006), Lycodon aulicus, Xenochrophis piscator (Vogel & David 2006). Sankaran (1989) reported Dendrelaphis pictus from Dudhwa National Park which appears to be the westernmost distributional limit for the species and also indicates its possible occurrence in Katerniaghat. However, D. pictus is regarded as a species complex and several populations from south-east Asia and Sundaland have been recently described as new with the taxonomy of the group in the subcontinent remaining unresolved (Rooijen & Vogel 2008; Vogel & Rooijen 2008). Boiga trigonata, reported as fairly common in the Terai and Duns of Nepal (Fleming & Fleming 1974), might also occur in Katerniaghat. Similarly, we predict the occurrence of Coelognathus helena helena, Lycodon striatus, Psammophis condanarus, Oligodon arnensis and even rare species like Oligodon kheriensis and Elachistodon westermanni. The Girwa River is recorded within the natural distribution of Batagur dhongoka and Batagur kachuga (Fritz & Havas 2007) and recorded from nearby areas of Terai (Mitchell & Rhodin 1996) in southern Nepal. DB collected secondary information on occurrence of both the species from Katerniaghat Sanctuary. However, subsequent field surveys failed to record the two species from the Sanctuary. Thus, it has been hypothesized that the two species are either locally extirpated from their habitats in the Girwa or have become extremely rare because of ecological changes as a result of storage of water after the construction of barrage at Kailashpuri. Thus, while considering the reptilian diversity of Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary the possibility of local extirpations of several species as a result of deforesteation in Nepal and modification of river courses and discharge should also be given cognizance. The Sanctuary is one of the last remaining habitats of the Critically Endangered Gharial (Choudhury et al. 2011). Among the threatened species, Gravialis gangeticus, Crocodilus palustris, Chitra indica, Nilssonia hurum, Nilssonia gangeticus, Melanochelys tricarinata, Pangshura tecta, Geoclemys hamiltoni, Python bivittatus, Varanus bengalensis and Varanus

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flavescens have been accorded the highest legal protection status, under Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Naja naja, Ptyas mucosa and Xenochrophis piscator are listed in Schedule II; all other snake species are listed under Schedule IV of the Act. The reptilian fauna of Katerniaghat Sanctuary predominantly composed of Indo-Malayan genera (Amphiesma, Chrysopelea, Crocodylus, Cyclemys, Enhydris, Lygosoma, Naja, Psammodynastes, Python, Ramphotyphlops, Varanus and Xenochrophis), followed by genera of Indian radiations (Bungarus, Gavialis, Hemidactylus, Lissemys, Pangshura and Melanochelys) and transitional elements (Boiga, Chitra, Dendrelaphis, Lycodon, Morenia and Sibynophis) (sensu Das 1996). Originally, the Terai was almost entirely covered by dense tropical forest, with grasslands or scrub (Schleich & Kaestle 2002). This might have provided in colonization of wet zone species (Cyclemys gemeli, Chrysopelea ornata, Python bivittatus and Psammodynastes pulverulentus) in the Katerniaghat. Basu (1989) also opined that the humid and well-forested areas of Terai and bhabar provide an exclusive corridor of suitable habitat for the spread of reptiles from afforested areas in the east, deep into the Gangetic plain areas. Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary represents one of the last remaining Terai ecosystems and hence it is of tremendous conservation concern. Considering the dearth of knowledge on diversity, distribution and natural history of the herpetofauna of the region, the present study assumes significance. However, the field observation of the study is limited to a single peak monsoon month (June–July) and subsequent two visits are during winter month where herpetofaunal activity is limited due to low temperature. Thus it is almost certain that the present inventory only represents a fraction of the actual herpetofaunal assemblage and additional survey will reveal hitherto unrecorded species.

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Sankaran, R. (1989). Range extension of Painted Bronzeback Tree Snake Dendrelaphis pictus (Gmelin). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 255. Schleich, H.H. & W. Kästle (eds). (2002). Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K. G., Ruggell, Liechtenstein, x+1201pp. Sclater, W.L. (1891). Notes on the snakes in the Indian Museum with description of several new species. Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta 60: 230–250. Singh, S. (1995). On a collection of reptiles and amphibians of Manipur. Geobios New Report 14(2): 135–145. Singh, V.B. (1978). Status of the gharial in Uttar Pradesh and its rehabilitation. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 75(3): 668–683. Singh, V.P. (2003). Evaluation of Gharial Rehabilitation U.P. Forestry Project: Report Prepared for Biodiversity Research, Terai Nature Conservation Society, 63pp. Smith, M.A. (1935). The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma: Amphibia and Reptilia, Vol. II—Sauria. Taylor and Francis Ltd., London, xii+445pp. Smith, M.A. (1943). The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, including the whole of the Indo-Chinese region. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. III—Serpentes. Taylor and Francis, London, xii+583pp+1 folding map. Srivastava, A.K. (1981). Biology of Indian Gharial Gavialis gangeticus, with special reference to its behaviour. PhD Thesis. Department of Zoology, University of Lucknow, 217pp. Talukdar, S.K & G. Dasgupta (1977). Natural distribution of the wolf Snake Lycodon Jara (Shaw) (Serpentes: Colubridae) in Northern India. Newsletter of the Zoological Survey of India 3(5): 276–277. Tripathi, K.P. & B. Singh (2009). Species diversity and vegetation structure across various strata in natural and plantation forests in Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, north India. Tropical Ecology 50(1): 191–200. Uetz, P. (2007). The reptile database. <http://www. reptile-database.org>. On-line version dated 18 January 2009. Vasudevan, K. (1998). Reproductive ecology of the Indian Softshell Turtle Aspideretes gangeticus, in northern India. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(1): 96–99. Vogel, G. & P. David (2006). On the taxonomy of the Xenochrophis piscator complex (Serpentes, Natricidae), pp. 241–246. In: Vences, M. & J. Köhler, T. Ziegler & W. Böhme (eds.). Herpetologia Bonnensis II. Proceedings of the 13th Congress of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn. Vogel, G. & J.V. Rooijen (2008). Contributions to a review of the Dendrelaphis pictus (Gmelin 1789) complex-2. The eastern forms (Serpentes: Colubridae). Herpetozoa 21(1/2): 3–29. Wall, F. (1907). Reduction in the species of the genus Polydontophis. Suppression of P. subpunctatus. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 17: 823–824. Wall, F. (1923). A hand-list of the snakes of the Indian Empire. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 29: 598–632. Whitaker, R. & A. Captain (2004). Snakes of India - The Field Guide. Draco Books, Chennai, xiv+481pp. Zug, G.R., H.H.K. Brown, J.A. Schulte & J.V. Vindum (2006). Systematics of the garden lizards, Calotes versicolor Group (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae), in Myanmar: central dry zone populations. Proceedings of the California Academy of Science 57(2): 35–68.

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Author Details and Contribution: Abhijit Das is currently working with the division of Herpetology, Aaranyak, a research organization based in Guwahati. He is an avid herpetologist primary interested is the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation initiatives of the herpetofauna of northeastern India. He conducted the field surveys, identified the specimens and wrote the mss. Dhruvajyoti Basu was associated with Katerniaghat Foundation and was one of the pioneers in crocodile conservation and research in India. He extensively worked on the distribution and status of Gharial throughout India and also closely associated with the U.P. Forest Department Crocodile Breeding Programme, MCBT, WWF etc. He passed away while conducting a Gharial survey in Assam in April, 2011. This paper is dedicated to the memory of his indomitable spirit!! He shared past herpetological observation from the area and guided the team during the survey Laurel Converse was with the Gharial Conservation Alliance, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Tamil Nadu, India. Her primary research interest is captive breeding and ex-situ conservation of crocodiles.  She carried out the field surveys for along with AD. Suresh S Chaudhury is associated with the Katerniaghat Foundation, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, an organization involved in conservation activities in the Terai landscape of India. He is also a wildlife photographer.  He was a member of the survey team and also provided past information on the herpetofauna of the region. Acknowledgements: We are thankful to the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department for granting permission to conduct the study. Thanks to Katerniaghat Wildlife Division for logistic support. Special thanks to Mr. Ramesh K. Pandey, IFS, and Mr. Shukla for providing logistic support. The work is financially supported by Conservation Leadership Programme. AD was supported by Rufford Small Grant, UK and Aaranyak, Guwahati. Special thanks to Raja Chandramani Kant Singh, Babbu of Katerniaghat foundation, Puja Chourasia, Subir Choufin for providing logistic supports and being Field Company. Thanks to Indraneil Das, Romulus Whitaker, S.U. Shravanakumar, Udayan Borthakur, Uttam Saikia, Sailendra Singh, Ashutosh for sharing knowledge. We thank Ramrup, Shubai, Vinod, Santosh for assistance in the field.

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4(5): 2569–2577

An overview of fish fauna of Raigad District, northern Western Ghats, India Unmesh Katwate 1, Rupesh Raut 2 & Sahir Advani 3 Bombay Natural History Society Hornbill House, Opp. Lion Gate, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India Department of Zoology, Elphinstone College, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400032, India 3 Department of Zoology, The Institute Of Science, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400032, India Email: 1 theunmesh@gmail.com, 2 rupesh.raut@gmail.com (corresponding author), 3 advani.sahir@gmail.com 1 2

Date of publication (online): 26 May 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 May 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Anonimity requested Manuscript details: Ms # o2760 Received 12 April 2011 Final received 10 April 2012 Finally accepted 27 April 2012 Citation: Katwate, U., R. Raut & S. Advani (2012). An overview of fish fauna of Raigad District, northern Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(5): 2569–2577. Copyright: © Unmesh Katwate, Rupesh Raut & Sahir Advani 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. For Author Details and Author Contribution see end of this article. Acknowledgments: We are thankful to Neelesh Dahanukar IISER, Pune for constant encouragement and extensive taxonomic help as well as critical reading of the manuscript and suggesting necessary changes. Authors are thankful to members of Wild Explorers (WE) formerly known as WRRACC, India especially Aditya Sawant, Abhijit Gharat for their unstinted help in the field. We thank to Ganesh Mehandale and his team for on field helps in Roha. We also thank Principal, Elphinstone College, Mumbai for constant encouragement. We are also thankful to authorities of the Bombay Natural History Society for providing library facilities. Lastly we thank anonymous referee for reviewing earlier draft of the manuscript.

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Abstract: We studied the fish fauna of Raigad District for two years from August 2008 to August 2010. Sixty six freshwater and secondary freshwater fish species belonging to 31 families and 53 genera were collected from various sampling sites and local markets along the banks of Patalganga, Bhogawati, Amba, Kundalika, Mandad and Savitri river systems present in Raigad District, Maharashtra, northern Western Ghats. Cyprinids were the most dominant group represented by 22 fish species belonging to 13 genera followed by the loaches, croakers and gobies belonging to the family Balitoridae, Sciaenidae and Gobiidae respectively (three species from each family). Of the 66 fish species, five belong to the Vulnerable (VU), four to Near Threatened (NT), 37 to the Least Concern (LC) category and 20 were found to be not evaluated for IUCN Red List criteria. Raigad District is under severe threat of rapid industrialization and urbanization. Further, introduced exotic fish species are becoming a major threat to the indigenous fish fauna of Raigad District. Implementation of ecosystem based adaptation plans and conservation measures are necessary to protect the diverse, endemic and threatened fish fauna of Raigad District. Keywords: Fish fauna, Raigad District, species composition, species diversity, threat status, Western Ghats.

The Western Ghats of India harbor rich biodiversity and are aptly classified as one of the 34 Biodiversity Hotspots of the world owing to the concentration of endemism (Mittermeier et al. 2005). The biodiversity of the Western Ghats is under severe threat of deforestation (Myers 1990). Holding only 12,450km2 (i.e. 6.8%) primary vegetation out of an original extent of 182,500km2 primary vegetation, Western Ghats awaits major conservation priorities (Myers et al. 2000). The most important impact is the massive degradation of habitat and extinction of species taking place in a catastrophically short time scale (Novacek 2001), resulting in the modification of both the identities and numbers of species in ecosystems (Tilman 1997). The literature till date records 288 freshwater fish species from the Western Ghats with 41% fish species endemic to this region (Dahanukar et al. 2004). The fish fauna of northern Western Ghats have been well studied but most of the studies are limited to the east flowing rivers of the Western Ghats while the west flowing rivers have had limited attention (Dahanukar et al. 2011). These west flowing rivers of the northern Western Ghats flow in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, a narrow coastal plain between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Raigad District forms the middle part of Konkan in the northern Western Ghats. While very few studies are available on fishes of the Konkan region (Annandale 1919; Kulkarni 1947; Bal & Mohmed, 1957; Singh & Yazdani 1988), the Raigad District is even less explored with only three studies (Singh

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& Yazdani 1993; Arunachalam 2000, 2002) to our knowledge. In our present study we have carried out a more extensive survey to document the diversity of fish fauna of Raigad District and associated threats to the fish fauna. Raigad District (Image 1) (17051’–19o80’N & 72051’–73040’E) forms a major part of northern Konkan and has the Western Ghats on its eastern and southern border (Singh & Yazdani 1993); the eastern and southern part of the district lies in the high rain shadow of the Sahyadri mountains; the altitude ranges from 500 to 1000 m. The annual rainfall ranges from 3000 to 5500 mm in high altitude regions like Matheran. Rainfall decreases in the range of 2000 to 2500 mm as we go from south to north (Chaudhari 1993). Six major west flowing rivers, namely Patalganga, Bhogawati, Amba, Kundalika, Mandad and Savitri with their tributaries, originate from the eastern boundaries of Raigad District and drain into the Arabian Sea (Image 1). These six major rivers with undulating terrains

have tropical semi deciduous, semievergreen and some evergreen forest patches in their catchments. In the last few decades, urbanization, industrialization and increasing organic waste load in Raigad District threaten the icthyofauna of these rivers. During the present survey six sampling sites (Image 1) namely Kharpada (18050’42”N & 73007’20”E), Pen (18044’03”N & 73006’49”E), Wadkhal (18035’41”N & 73006’10”E), Roha (18026’03”N & 73010’36”E), Mandad (18020’37”N & 73007’52”E) and Mahad (18005’20”N & 73026’46”E) situated on the course of Patalganga, Bhogawati, Amba, Kundalika, Mandad and Savitri rivers respectively were selected for experimental fishing. Samples were also collected from local markets and landing centers. For the present study samplings were carried out at all six sampling sites on a monthly basis from August 2008 to July 2011. Experimental fishing was carried out both by members of the survey team as well as by using the expertise of local fisher folk. Different types of

River District boundary Sampling site

Image 1. Study site showing sampling locations: I - Kharpada; II - Pen; III - Wadkhal; IV - Roha; V - Mandad; VI - Mahad. Rivers: A - Patalganga; B - Bhogawati; C - Amba; D - Kundalika, E - Mandad, F - Savitri 2570

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Fishes of Raigad District

gear including cast nets, gill nets, scoop nets (all with varying mesh sizes), traps and other local contrivances were used for collecting the fishes allowing us to sample a range of fish sizes and minimize the bias due to specific gear. At each sampling site different microhabitats like water pools, riffles, cascade, falls, run and plunge were assessed for sampling. Representative specimens of all fish species were fixed in 4% formaldehyde and transferred to the laboratory and stored in glass bottles. We also visited local fish markets and landing centers situated nearer to the sampling sites to monitor and look for the presence of any species which were not available during our experimental fishing. Samples were subsequently identified by following standard literature (Jayaram 1991; 1999; 2010; Talwar & Jhingran 1991). The threat status of the fish species is adapted from IUCN. Red List of Threatened Species-Version 2011.1 (IUCN 2011). Relative abundance was recorded for each species in each river as rare, common and very common. If a species contributed < 5% or 5% of the total catch in a sample it was considered as rare, if < 50% or 50% it was considered as common and if the species contributed > 50% it was considered as very common. A total number of 66 fish species belonging to 31 families and 53 genera (Table 1) were collected from the six sampling sites located along the course of monitored rivers. Some of the fishes collected from various rivers are shown in Image 2. Cyprinids were the most dominant group represented by 22 species belonging to 13 genera, followed by the loaches, croakers and gobies of the family Balitoridae, Sciaenidae and Gobiidae respectively (3 species from each family). Kundalika River showed the maximum species number (66 species) followed by Savitri River (64 species) and Amba (61 species). Patalganga River showed the least number of species (45 species) (Fig. 1). Singh & Yazdani (1993) have reported 106 freshwater and marine fish species in the entire Konkan region of northern Western Ghats of which 41 fish species were recorded from Raigad District. Arunachalam (2000) and Arunachalam et al. (2002) studied Kundalika, Savitri River and Kal River a major tributary of Savitri River as well as Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary area. Arunachalam (2000) recorded 20 fish species, while Arunachalam et al. (2002) reported

U. Katwate et al.

a total of 22 fish species. Even though we could not record five species recorded by the earlier workers we recorded 18 species for the first time from this area. A cumulative number of species based on previous studies and the current study suggest that there could be at least 71 species of freshwater and secondary freshwater fishes in this region. In our present study we recorded two bagrids Mystus bleekeri and M. malabaricus. There are earlier records of occurrence of M. seenghala (now Sperata seenghala), M. vittatus and M. keletius in Raigad District (Singh & Yazdani 1993) but during the present study these species were not recorded. Arunachalam (2002) has reported the occurrence of juveniles of Tor khudree from Khandala Falls, an origin of Patalganga River. During the field study, issues of occurrence of Tor khudree with local fishermen were discussed. As per their knowledge this species is very rarely seen in the wild in this area but is known to be cultivated in farms in some areas of Raigad District. We could not record the presence of Tor khudree in our study. Nevertheless, even in the absence of species like M. seenghala, M. vittatus, M. keletius, Gonoproktopterus curmuca and Tor khudree recorded earlier (Singh & Yazdani 1993; Arunachalam 2002), we have reported 18 new records of fish species to Raigad District, namely Anguilla bengalensis, Cirrhinus cirrhosus, Crossocheilus latius, Esomus danrica, Garra gotyla stenorhynchus, Labeo calbasu, Puntius chola, Parapsilorhynchus discophorus, Ompok bimaculatus, Heteropneustes fossilis, Xenentodon cancila, Monopterus indicus, Etroplus maculatus, Eleotris fusca, Channa punctata, C. gachua, Chanda nama and Mastacembalus armatus. Our study also reported eight new records of introduced fish species to this region like Catla catla, Cirrhinus mrigala, Ctenopharyngodon idella, Cyprinus carpio, Labeo rohita, Clarias gariepinus, Gambusia affinis and Poecilia reticulata. Puntius cf. amphibius collection reported in the present study has ambiguous taxonomic status. Pethiyagoda & Kottelat (2005, p.151) considered Puntius amphibius from its lectotype which was preserved some two centuries ago from Bombay Presidency, a rather ill defined type locality as it points to a very large region. Our Puntius cf. amphibius specimens do not match with the lectotype of Puntius amphibius sensu stricto because of the presence of a dark oval blotch on caudal peduncle, which is absent in lectotype studied by Pethiyagoda

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Table 1. Fish species recorded from Raigad District. Abundance in study area b Family/species a

Global status d

Ac

B

C

D

E

F

-

-

-

+

-

+

LC

-

+

+

+

-

+

LC

++

+++

+++

+++

++

+++

++

++

++

+++

-

+++

-

++

+

++

-

++

Remarks e

Notopteridae Notopterus notopterus (Pallas, 1769) Anguillidae Anguilla bengalensis (Gray, 1831) f

S

Clupeidae Tenualosa ilisha (Hamilton, 1822)

S

Cyprinidae Catla catla (Hamilton, 1822)

f

Cirrhinus cirrhosus (Bloch, 1795)

f

Cirrhinus mrigala (Hamilton, 1822)

f

Crossocheilus latius (Hamilton, 1822)

f

Ctenopharyngodon idella (Valenciennes, 1844) Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus, 1758)

f

f

Devario aequipinnatus (McClelland, 1839) Devario fraseri (Hora, 1935) Esomus danrica (Hamilton, 1822)

f

Garra gotyla stenorhynchus (Jerdon, 1849)

f

Garra mullya (Sykes, 1839) Labeo calbasu (Hamilton, 1822) Labeo rohita (Hamilton, 1822)

f

f

I VU

-

-

+

+

-

+

+

++

++

+++

+

+++

I

-

-

++

++

-

++

I

-

-

++

++

-

++

I

++

+++

+++

+++

++

+++

LC

-

+

+

+

-

+

VU

LC

+

+

++

+

+

++

LC

+

+

++

+++

+

+++

LC

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

LC LC

-

+

+

++

+

++

++

++

+++

+++

++

+++

++

++

++

++

++

++

LC

Puntius cf. amphibius (Valenciennes, 1842)

++

+++

+++

+++

+

+++

DD

Puntius bimaculatus (Bleeker, 1863)

+

+

+

+

+

+

LC

Puntius chola (Hamilton, 1822)

+

++

++

+++

-

+++

LC

Puntius sarana subnasutus (Valenciennes, 1842)

+++

+++

+++

+++

++

+++

LC

Puntius sophore (Hamilton, 1822)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

LC

Puntius ticto (Hamilton, 1822)

E

I

Laubuca laubuca (Hamilton, 1822)

f

E

+

+

++

+++

+

+++

LC

Rasbora daniconius (Hamilton, 1822)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

LC

Salmophasia ballokee (sykes, 1839)

-

-

+

+

-

+

LC

-

-

-

+

-

+

VU

-

-

-

+

-

+

LC

E

Parapsilorhynchidae Parapsilorhynchus discophorus (Hora, 1921)

f

Parapsilorhynchus tentaculatus (Annandale, 1919)

E

Balitoridae Indoreonectes evezardi (Day, 1872)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

LC

Nemachilichthys rueppelli (Sykes, 1839)

-

-

++

++

-

++

LC

Schistura denisoni (Day, 1867)

-

-

+

+

-

+

LC

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

LC

Mystus bleekeri (Day, 1877)

+

+

++

+

+

+++

LC

Mystus malabaricus (Jerdon, 1849)

+

+

+

+

+

+

NT

-

+

+

+

-

+

NT

E

Cobitidae Lepidocephalichthys thermalis (Valenciennes, 1846) Bagridae

E

Siluridae Ompok bimaculatus (Bloch, 1794)

2572

f

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Abundance in study area b Family/species a A

Global status d

Remarks e

B

C

D

E

F

-

-

+

+

-

+

Arius sona (Hamilton, 1822)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Hexanematichthys sagor (Hamilton, 1822)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

I

-

-

-

+

-

-

LC

-

-

+

+

-

+

LC

-

-

-

+

-

-

LC

++

++

++

+++

++

+++

LC

+

++

++

++

+

++

LC

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

I

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

I

-

+

+

+

-

+

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Eleutheronema tetradactylum (Shaw, 1804)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Leptomelanosoma indicum (Shaw, 1804)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Wallago attu (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

c

NT

Ariidae

Clariidae Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822)

f

Heteropneustidae Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch, 1794)

f

Hemiramphidae Hyporhamphus limbatus (Valenciennes, 1847)

S

Belonidae Xenentodon cancila (Hamilton, 1822)

f

Horaichthyidae Horaichthys setnai Kulkarni, 1940 Aplocheilidae Aplocheilus lineatus (Valenciennes, 1846)

S

Poecillidae Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard, 1853) Poecilia reticulata (Peters, 1859)

f

f

Synbranchidae Monopterus indicus (Silas & Dawson, 1961)

f

VU

E

Lutjanidae Lutjanus johni (Bloch, 1792) Polynemidae

Sciaenidae Dendrophysa russelli (Cuvier, 1829)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Johnius belangerii (Cuvier, 1830)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Otolithoides biauritus (Cantor, 1849)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Scatophagidae Scatophagus argus (Linnaeus, 1766) Cichlidae Etroplus maculatus (Bloch, 1795)

f

Oreochromis mossambicus (Peters, 1852)

+

+

+++

+++

+

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

LC

S I

Mugilidae Mugil cephalus Linnaeus, 1758

LC

S

Gobiidae Boleophthalmus boddarti (Pallas, 1770)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Boleophthalmus dussumieri (Valenciennes, 1837)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

Glossogobius giuris (Hamilton, 1822)

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

S

+

+

++

++

+

++

Eleotridae Eleotris fusca (Forster, 1801)

f

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LC

S

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Abundance in study area b Family/species a A

Global status d

B

C

D

E

F

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

+++

LC

++

++

++

+++

++

+++

LC

+

++

+++

+++

+++

+++

-

+

+

++

++

++

DD

-

+

+

+

+

+

LC

+

+

++

++

+

++

LC

c

Remarks e

Channidae Channa punctata (Bloch, 1793)

f

Channa gachua (Hamilton, 1822)

f

Centropomidae Lates calcarifer (Bloch, 1790)

S

Anabantidae Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1792)

S

Ambassidae Chanda nama (Hamilton, 1822)

f

Mastacembelidae Mastacembelus armatus (Lacepède, 1800) f

S

a - Taxonomic status adapted from Jayaram 1991, 1999, 2010; Talwar & Jhingran 1991. b - Abundance categories: - not found, + rare, ++ common, +++ very common. c - Collection sites: A: Patalganga River; B: Bhogawati River; C: Amba River; D: Kundalika River; E: Mandad River; F: Savitri River. d - Global Status adapted IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 09 August 2011. LC Least Concern, DD - Data Deficient, NT - Near Threatened, VU - Vulnerable. IUCN Status of introduced species and unassessed species are not provided. e - Remarks: E - endemic to Western Ghats; S - secondary freshwater; I - introduced to this region. f - New record to Raigad District based on previous literature surveys.

70 Number of fish species

60 50 40 30 20 10 0

A

B

C

D

E

F

Figure 1. Species richness of rivers in Raigad District. Rivers abbreviations as per Image 1.

& Kottelat (2005, p.150). Pethiyagoda & Kottelat (2005, p.150) distinguished Puntius amphibius from Puntius mahecola by having a smaller eye diameter (61.6% of snout length, vs. 68.4–100.0 %). Eye diameter of our Puntius cf. amphibius collection ranges between 71–98 % of snout length, which falls closer to P. mahecola, a species restricted to southern Western Ghats (Pethiyagoda & Kottelat 2005). Such variations between our Puntius cf. amphibius collection and lectotype of Puntius amphibius studied by Pethiyagoda & Kottelat (2005) suggest that there is a need to reinvestigate Puntius amphibius from its type locality with a fresh collection. 2574

 

Out of the recorded 66 fish species, five species are categorized as vulnerable globally. These species are Cirhinus cirrhosus, Cyprinus carpio, Devario fraseri, Parapsilorhynchus discophorus and Monopterus indicus (IUCN 2011). Western Ghats endemics like Devario fraseri, Garra gotyla stenorhynchus, Puntius sarana subnasutus, Parapsilorhynchus discophorus, Nemachilichthys rueppelli, Mystus malabaricus and Monopterus indicus constitute 10% to the total fish species of the study area. The global threat status of the studied fish species shows that 7.5% belong to Vulnerable (VU), 6% to Near Threatened (NT), 56% to Least Concern (LC) while 3% has Data Deficient (DD). The status of around 26% species was not available (Fig. 2). Kundalika, Savitri and Amba show maximum contribution (6–7.5 %) of globally vulnerable species in their species assemblages (Table 2). Raigad District is showing rapid industrialization. The fish fauna of Raigad District is threatened mainly due to pollution, industrial sewage disposal in river systems, habitat alteration due to construction of dams, indiscriminate deforestation on a large scale, and overexploitation of present fish stock and introduction of exotic fish species. Nine introduced fish species like Catla catla, Cirrhinus mrigala, Ctenopharyngodon

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Image 1. Some fishes of Raigad District. a - Esomus danrica; b - Puntius cf. amphibius; c - Parapsilorhynchus discophorus; d - Puntius ticto; e - Mystus malabaricus.

idella, Cyprinus carpio, Labeo rohita, Clarias gariepinus, Gambusia affinis, Poecilia reticulata and Oreochromis mossambicus were collected from the different sampling sites which constituted about 13% of the total fish fauna. Fishes like Catla catla,

Cirrhinus mrigala and Labeo rohita were native to the Ganges River systems and introduced in greater numbers for mass aquaculture practices. Studies suggest that native fish fauna of the Western Ghats are severely threatened by the introduction of alien fish

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Fishes of Raigad District

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Table 2. Percentage composition of threatened species in each river system of Raigad District.

Figure 2. Threat status of fishes collected from Raigad District. LC - Least Concern; DD - Data Deficient; NT - Near Threatened; VU - Vulnerable; NA - Not Available; # - Status of these species was not available.

species with regard to predation, competition for food and other resources, and also with the introduction of new pathogens (Daniels 2006; Raghavan et al. 2008; Krishnakumar et al. 2009; Knight 2010). These exotic populations have the status of potential pests and hence pose a serious threat to the fish fauna of Raigad District, especially to the endemic and threatened species having a low population size. It is recommended that further long term intensive monitoring studies are needed to trace the impact of anthropogenic activities on the freshwater fish fauna of Raigad District. Implementation of conservation measures are also necessary to protect the locally, as well as globally threatened freshwater fish species from this area. References Annandale, N. (1919). Bombay streams fauna: notes on fresh water fish mostly from the Satara and Poona Districts. Records of the Indian Museum 16: 125–138. Arunachalam, M. (2000).  Assemblage structure of stream fishes in the Western Ghats (India). Hydrobiologia 430(1– 3): 1–31. Arunachalam, M., A. Sankaranarayanan, A. Manimekalan, R. Soranam & J.A. Johnson (2002). Fish fauna of some streams and rivers in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 99(2): 337341. Bal, D.V. & Mohmed (1957). A systematic account of the eels of Bombay. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 2576

A

B

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D

E

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LC

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28

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37

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35

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Rivers: A - Patalganga; B - Bhogawati; C - Amba; D - Kundalika; E - Mandad; F - Savitri. Global Status adapted IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 09 August 2011. LC - Least Concern; DD - Data Deficient; NT - Near Threatened; VU - Vulnerable; NA - Not Available. # Status of these species was not available.

 

54(3): 732–740. Chaudhari, K.K. (1993). Gazetteer of the Raigad District. Maharashtra State Gazetteers Department, Govt. of Maharashtra, 30–42pp. Dahanukar, N., R. Raut & A. Bhat (2004). Distribution, endemism and threat status of freshwater fishes in the Western Ghats of India. Journal of Biogeography 3(1): 123–136. Dahanukar, N., R. Raghavan, A. Ali, R. Abraham & C.P. Shaji (2011). The status and distribution of freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats, pp. 21–48. In: Molur, S., K.G. Smith, B.A. Daniel & W.R.T. Darwall (compilers). The Status of Freshwater Biodiversity in The Western Ghats, India. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Gland, Switzerland & Zoo Outreach Organization (ZOO) Coimbatore, India, 116pp. Daniels, R.J.R. (2006). Introduced fishes: a potential threat to the native freshwater fishes of peninsular India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 103(2–3): 346–348. IUCN (2011). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 09 August 2011. Jayaram, K.C. (1991). Revision of the Genus Puntius Hamilton from the Indian Region (Pisces: Cypriniformes, Cyprinidae, Cyprininae). Occasional Paper No. 135. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, 178pp. Jayaram, K.C. (1999). The Freshwater Fishes of the Indian Region. Narendra Publishing House, New Delhi, 551pp. Jayaram, K.C. (2010). The Freshwater Fishes of The Indian Region. Second Edition. Narendra Publishing House, Delhi, 616pp. Knight, J.D.M. (2010). Invasive ornamental fish: a potential threat to aquatic biodiversity in peninsular India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(2): 700–704. Krishnakumar, K., R. Raghavan, G. Prasad, A. Bijukumar, M. Sekharan, B. Pereira & A. Ali (2009). When pets become pests - exotic aquarium fishes and biological invasions in Kerala, India. Current Science 97(4): 474–

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476. Kulkarni, C.V. (1947). Notes on freshwater fishes of Bombay and Salsette Islands. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 47(2): 319–326. Mittermeier, R.A., P.R. Gil, M. Hoffman, J. Pilgrim, T. Brooks, C.G. Mittermeier, J. Lamoreux, & G.A.B. da Fonseca (2005). Hotspots Revisited: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions. Cemex, Mexico, 392pp. Myers, N. (1990). The biodiversity challenge: expanded hotspots analysis. The Environmentalist 10: 243–256. Myers, N., R.A. Mittermeier, C.G. Mittermeier, G.A.B. Da Fonseka & J. Kents (2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853-858. Pethiyagoda, R. & M. Kottelat (2005). The identity of the South Indian Barb Puntius mahecola (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (Supplement No.) 12: 145–152. Raghavan, R., G. Prasad, P.H. Anvar-Ali & B. Pereira (2008). Exotic fish species in a global biodiversity hotspot: observations from river Chalakudy, part of Western Ghats, Kerala, India. Biological Invasions 10(1): 37–40. Singh, D.F. & G.M. Yazdani (1988). A note on the ichthyofauna of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli, Bombay. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 85: 631–633. Singh, D.F. & G.M. Yazdani (1993) Ichthyofauna of Konkan Region of Maharashtra (India). Occasional paper no. 145, Records of the Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, 46pp. Talwar, P.K. & A.G. Jhingran (1991). Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries. Oxford-IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1158pp. Tilman, D., J. Knops, D. Wedin, P. Reich, M. Ritchie & E. Siemann (1997). The influences of functional diversity and composition on ecosystem processes. Science 277: 1300–1302.

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U. Katwate et al. Author Details: Unmesh Katwate is a zoology postgraduate currently working as Research Scientist in Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). He is studying ecology and conservation aspects of freshwater fishes and amphibians in northern Western Ghats. Currently he is working on costal plateaus of Konkan in Western Ghats. Rupesh Raut is a head of Department of Zoology, Elphinstone College. He works on ecology, systematic biology and molecular phylogeny of freshwater fishes, amphibians and bats of Western Ghats. Sahir Advani is currently a Research Associate at Dakshin Foundation, Bangalore, a marine conservation NGO. His research interests lie in the field of marine protected areas and coral reef associated fisheries. He is presently working on a project profiling the fisheries of the Andaman Islands in order to establish critical areas for research and conservation. Author contribution: UK, RR and SA all have contributed their efforts in extensive field work. RR systematically designed this study. UK, RR and SA performed systematic taxonomic identification, morphometric data analysis of different fish species and manuscript preparation.

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JoTT Short Communication

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The genus Cyrtoptyx Delucchi (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae) from India, with a description of a new species from the southern Western Ghats of Kerala P.M. Sureshan Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghat Regional Centre, Jafferkhan Colony, Eranhipalam P.O., Kozhikode, Kerala 673006, India Email: pmsuresh43@yahoo.com

Abstract: A taxonomic account on Cyrtoptyx Delucchi (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) is given and a new species, C. wayanadensis, is described from the southern Western Ghats of Kerala, India. The affinities of the new species with the related species are discussed. Keywords: Cyrtoptyx, Hymenoptera, Pteromalidae, new species, Kerala, India.

Chalcidoidea,

The genus Cyrtoptyx Delucchi (1956) belongs to the pteromalid subfamily Pteromalinae. Noyes (2011) lists a total of nine described species from the world, but from India (Tamil Nadu) and Pakistan, only one species, C. latipes (Rondani), was recorded by Bouček et al. (1979). During the faunal exploration Date of publication (online): 26 May 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 May 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Mohammad Hayat Manuscript details: Ms # o3040 Received 19 December 2011 Final received 15 March 2012 Finally accepted 27 April 2012 Citation: Sureshan, P.M. (2012). The genus Cyrtoptyx Delucchi (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae) from India, with a description of a new species from the South Western Ghats of Kerala. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(5): 2578–2581. Copyright: © P.M. Sureshan 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. Acknowledgement: I am grateful to Dr. K. Venkataraman, Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata and C. Radhakrishnan, Officer-incharge, Zoological Survey of India, Kozhikode for providing all the facilities for the work and constant encouragement. I am also grateful to Dr. Jhon S. Noyes, The Natural History Museum, UK, and Dr. Xiao Hui, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Zoology, Beijing for providing relevant literature for my work. I am also thankful to Mr. C. Bijoy and Ms. Dhanya Balan, junior research fellows, ZSI, Kozhikode for helping to prepare the photographs and the electron scan pictures of the specimens. Thanks are also due to the Chief Wildlife Warden, Kerala and the forest officials of Waynad forest division for granting the permission to conduct faunisitic surveys and make collections and as well for the various help rendered during the field work. OPEN ACCESS | FREE DOWNLOAD

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surveys conducted in the forested tracts of the southern Western Ghats of Wayanad District, Kerala, interesting specimens of Cyrtoptyx were collected by sweeping over vegetations from a patch of moist deciduous forest located at the foothills of Banasura peak. The specimens were identified as belonging to an undescribed species and are described hereunder. The morphological terminology used in the paper follows that of Bouček (1988). The type material of the new species is deposited in the Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghat Regional Centre, Kozhikode, Kerala (ZSIK). Cyrtoptyx Delucchi, 1956 Cyrtoptyx Delucchi, 1956: 240, 252. Type species Dinarmus robustus Masi, 1907, by original designation. Diagnosis: Body stout, metallic, generally bluish black, dark metallic green or bronze tinged; anterior margin of clypeus shallowly emarginate; antennal formula 11353 in female and 11263 in male; clava with sutures straight, area of micropilosity restricted to the third segment; mesosoma convex; pronotal collar almost as broad as mesoscutum, not margined anteriorly or at the most with a weak carina in the middle; mesoscutum with notauli incomplete; propodeum without nucha, with distinct median carina; forewing with PMV longer than STV (at least 1.8x); metasoma sessile, lanceolate; hind margin of T1 produced. Hosts: Cyrtoptyx species are mainly parasitoids of Dacus flies (Diptera: Tephritidae), Curculionidae, Anthribidae (Coleoptera), Gelechiidae, Coleophoridae,

Abbreviations: F1–F6 - funicular segments 1–6; MV - marginal vein; OOL - minimum distance between a posterior ocellus and the corresponding eye margin; PMV - postmarginal vein; POL - minimum distance between the two posterior ocelli; SMV submarginal vein; STV - stigmal vein; T1–T5 - gastral tergites 1–5.

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A new species of Cyrtoptyx

Tortricidae, Pyralidae (Lepidoptera), Cynipidae and some Hymenoptera (Noyes 2011). Species and distribution: World species nine (Noyes 2011). These are: Cyrtoptyx bruchi (Blanchard 1940) from Argentina; C. flavida Xiao, Chen & Huang, 2003, from Beijing, China; C. gallicola Dzhanokmen, 1976, from Kazakhstan; C. gilloni Rasplus, 1989, from the Ivory Coast; C. latipes (Rondani, 1874) from the holarctic, oriental and afrotropical regions; C. lichtensteini (Masi, 1922) from the Holarctic and Afrotropical regions; C. pistaciae (Nikol’skaya 1935) from the palaearctic region; and C. robustus (Masi, 1907) from the palaearctic region. Delucchi (1956) considered C. cynipidis (Masi, 1922) as a probable synonym of C. robustus, and this was followed by Graham (1969). Comments: Cyrtoptyx closely resembles the genera Oxysychus Delucchi and Ischyroptyx Delucchi in general morphology. It differs from Oxysychus in having pronotal collar only weakly carinate in the middle, clava with the area of micropilosity limited to its apical segment and propodeum not much flat (in Oxysychus, pronotal collar with a complete fine carina, clava with area of micropilosity extending all along its length and propodeum between spiracles almost flat or weakly carinate). Cyrtoptyx differs from Ischyroptyx in having MV not thickened and at least 1.8x as long as STV, forewing hyaline or subhyaline, hairs on thorax thin and not conspicuous (in Ischyroptyx, MV slightly thickened from base, at most about 1.4x as long as STV, forewing often with slight broad infumation and hairs on mesosoma curved and broad, usually white and conspicuous). Cyrtoptyx wayanadensis sp. nov. (Images 1-7) Material examined: Holotype: Female, 19.xi.2011, 11067.7’40”N & 75093.5’06’’E, altitude 834m, foot hills of Banasura peak, south Wayanad forest Division, Wayanad District, Kerala, India, coll. P.M. Sureshan (ZSI/WGRS/IR-INV-2145) Paratypes: Three females, one male, data same as holotype except Reg. Nos.: Females: ZSI/WGRS/ IR-INV-2146, 2233, 2234; Male: ZSI/WGRS/IRINV-2235) (one female paratype used for SEM, ZSI/ WGRS/IR-INV-2146). Etymology: The species name is derived from the

P.M. Sureshan

name of the district (Wayanad) where the specimens were collected. Description: Female: Length 3.0–3.9 mm (holotype 3.9mm). Colour: Head metallic blue; eyes cupreous; ocelli yellow; antennae yellowish-brown with scape, pedicel and anelli more yellowish; mandibles yellow with apical half brown; mesosoma metallic blue; tegulae pale yellowish-brown; wings hyaline; veins pale yellowish-brown; stigmal knob dark brown; discal pubescence brown; coxae concolorous with mesosoma except middle coxae brown; femora yellowish-brown except fore femora brown; rest of legs yellowish-white with tips of tarsi brown; gaster blackish-brown with metallic blue bands laterally in the middle of tergites and base of T1 dorsally; Head (Images 2, 5) distinctly reticulate with moderately dense white pubescence; in dorsal view head width 1.9x length; temple narrow, 0.2x eye length; POL 1.62x OOL; occiput not margined. In front view head width 1.3x height; scrobe deep, not reaching median ocellus; clypeus radiately striated, anterior margin very slightly emarginate; malar grooves indicated; malar space 0.6x as long as eye in profile; eye length 1.3x width in profile; eyes separated 1.4x their length at level of toruli; both mandibles with 3 teeth. Antennae (Images 3, 4 ) inserted above middle of face, distinctly above lower ocular line; toruli separated 0.32x their individual diameter; scape exceeding well above median ocellus, little shorter than eye and 4.9x as long as pedicel; pedicel plus flagellum 1.3x as long as head width; pedicel 1.6x as long as broad; third anellus little longer than second; anelli together 0.62x as long as pedicel; funicular segments slender, elongated, with uniform thickness, decreasing in length; F1 longest, F2 0.9x F1, F5 shortest, 0.64x F1; F1 and F2 with five irregular rows of sensillae, other segments with four rows of sensillae, clava little wider than funicle, 2.7x as long as broad and 1.51x as long as F5; area of micropilosity restricted to tip of clava; sutures almost straight ; pubescence moderately long. Mesosoma: (Image 6) In dorsal view 1.52x as long as broad, uniformly reticulate punctate with moderately dense white curved hairs, reticulation closer on sides. Pronotum not carinate anteriorly, sharp edged in the middle. Mesoscutum 1.7x as broad as long, notauli incomplete. Scutellum as long as broad, frenum not separated. Dorsellum distinctly reticulate, little elevated. Propodeum finely reticulate, median area

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A new species of Cyrtoptyx

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5 1

2 6

3

Images 1–7. 1 - Cyrtoptyx wayanadensis sp. nov., male body in profile; 2–7: Female: 2 - body in profile; 3 - antenna; 4 - antennal clava; 5 - Head in front view; 6 - Mesosoma in dorsal view; 7 - propodeum and metasoma dorsal view. Photo credit: WGRC, ZSI, Calicut. 7

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more polished, nucha absent, posterior margin deeply emarginate, median carina complete, anterior margin of propodeum with a transverse depression, traversed by rugae; plicae indicated posteriorly; spiracle elongate ovate, almost touching hind margin of metanotum; callus with long white hairs. Prepectus short, finely reticulate, almost equal to length of tegula. Mesopleuron almost completely reticulate except for a narrow triangular smooth area beneath wings. Metapleuron reticulate punctate. Forewing length 2.5x width, basal part almost bare, basal vein represented by few hairs in the upper end; speculum open below; costal cell hairy on upper half and distal end; stigma moderately capitate. Relative lengths of SMV, 18; MV, 12; STV, 5; PMV, 10. Fore and hind coxae distinctly reticulate; mid coxae finely reticulate; hind coxae with tuft of white hairs on the anterior-lateral margin, 1.5x as long as broad; hind femora 3.3x as long as broad; hind tibiae with two unequal spurs. Metasoma: (Image 7) Gaster lanceolate, 1.4x as long as head plus mesosoma combined in profile; in dorsal view 2.9x as long as broad, slightly collapsing dorsally, posterior margin of T1 slightly produced; T2 almost straight, T3-T5 concave; surface of T2 onwards finely transversely striate reticulate; ovipositor sheath slightly protruded; tergites moderately and densely pubescent on dorso-lateral areas; hypopygium reaching middle of T4. Male: (Image 1) Length 2.6mm. Colour metallic greenish-blue. Differs from female in having antennae with two anelli and five long funicular segments with dense pubescence; gaster compressed, with an elongated brownish-yellow spot in the base dorsally and completely yellow ventrally. Remarks: This species is unique in having long slender antennae in both the sexes. In the nature of gaster, forewing venation and general morphology it resembles C. latipes (Rondani) but differs from it in the nature of antennae which are long and slender, combined length of pedicel plus flagellum 1.3x as long as head width, F1 and F2 with five irregular rows of sensillae, other segments with four rows of sensillae, gaster with hind margin of T1 only slightly produced. (in C. latipes, antennae not long and slender combined length of pedicel plus flagellum slightly shorter than head width, F1–F3 with three rows of sensillae and F4 and F5 with two rows of sensillae, hind margin of T1 moderately produced.). It also resembles C. flavida

P.M. Sureshan

Xiao et al. 2003, but differs from it in having antennae inserted above middle of face, funicular segments with more than two rows of sensillae, gaster 2.9–3.1x as long as broad with hind margin of T1 slightly produced, and body metallic blue (in C. flavida, antennae inserted middle of face, each funicular segments with two rows of sensillae, hind margin of T1 moderately produced, body black with metallic gloss).

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Dr. Pankaj Kumar, Tai Po, Hong Kong Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte, Cambridge, USA Prof. Dr. Adriano Brilhante Kury, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dr. P. Lakshminarasimhan, Howrah, India Dr. Carlos Alberto S de Lucena, Porto Alegre, Brazil Dr. Glauco Machado, São Paulo, Brazil Dr. Gowri Mallapur, Mamallapuram, India Dr. George Mathew, Peechi, India Prof. Richard Kiprono Mibey, Eldoret, Kenya Dr. Lionel Monod, Genève, Switzerland Dr. Shomen Mukherjee, Jamshedpur, India Dr. P.O. Nameer, Thrissur, India Dr. D. Narasimhan, Chennai, India Dr. T.C. Narendran, Kozhikode, India Mr. Stephen D. Nash, Stony Brook, USA Dr. K.S. Negi, Nainital, India Dr. K.A.I. Nekaris, Oxford, UK Dr. Heok Hee Ng, Singapore Dr. Boris P. Nikolov, Sofia, Bulgaria Prof. Annemarie Ohler, Paris, France Dr. Shinsuki Okawara, Kanazawa, Japan Dr. Albert Orr, Nathan, Australia Dr. Geeta S. Padate, Vadodara, India Dr. Larry M. Page, Gainesville, USA Dr. Arun K. Pandey, Delhi, India Dr. Prakash Chand Pathania, Ludhiana, India Dr. Malcolm Pearch, Kent, UK Dr. Richard S. Peigler, San Antonio, USA Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda, Sydney, Australia Mr. J. Praveen, Bengaluru, India Dr. Robert Michael Pyle, Washington, USA Dr. Muhammad Ather Rafi, Islamabad, Pakistan Dr. H. Raghuram, Bengaluru, India Dr. Dwi Listyo Rahayu, Pemenang, Indonesia Dr. Sekar Raju, Suzhou, China Dr. Vatsavaya S. Raju, Warangal, India Dr. V.V. Ramamurthy, New Delhi, India Dr (Mrs). R. Ramanibai, Chennai, India Prof. S.N. Ramanujam, Shillong, India Dr. Alex Ramsay, LS2 7YU, UK Dr. M.K. Vasudeva Rao, Pune, India Dr. Robert Raven, Queensland, Australia Dr. K. Ravikumar, Bengaluru, India Dr. Luke Rendell, St. Andrews, UK

Dr. Anjum N. Rizvi, Dehra Dun, India Dr. Leif Ryvarden, Oslo, Norway Prof. Michael Samways, Matieland, South Africa Dr. Yves Samyn, Brussels, Belgium Dr. Asok K. Sanyal, Kolkata, India Dr. K.R. Sasidharan, Coimbatore, India Dr. Kumaran Sathasivam, India Dr. S. Sathyakumar, Dehradun, India Dr. M.M. Saxena, Bikaner, India Dr. Hendrik Segers, Vautierstraat, Belgium Dr. R. Siddappa Setty, Bengaluru, India Dr. Subodh Sharma, Towson, USA Prof. B.K. Sharma, Shillong, India Prof. K.K. Sharma, Jammu, India Dr. R.M. Sharma, Jabalpur, India Dr. Tan Koh Siang, Kent Ridge Road, Singapore Dr. Arun P. Singh, Jorhat, India Dr. Lala A.K. Singh, Bhubaneswar, India Prof. Willem H. De Smet, Wilrijk, Belgium Mr. Peter Smetacek, Nainital, India Dr. Humphrey Smith, Coventry, UK Dr. Hema Somanathan, Trivandrum, India Dr. C. Srinivasulu, Hyderabad, India Dr. Ulrike Streicher, Danang, Vietnam Dr. K.A. Subramanian, Pune, India Mr. K.S. Gopi Sundar, New Delhi, India Dr. P.M. Sureshan, Patna, India Prof. R. Varatharajan, Imphal, India Dr. Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Dehradun, India Dr. R.K. Verma, Jabalpur, India Dr. W. Vishwanath, Manipur, India Dr. E. Vivekanandan, Cochin, India Dr. Gernot Vogel, Heidelberg, Germany Dr. Ted J. Wassenberg, Cleveland, Australia Dr. Stephen C. Weeks, Akron, USA Prof. Yehudah L. Werner, Jerusalem, Israel Mr. Nikhil Whitaker, Mamallapuram, India Dr. Hui Xiao, Chaoyang, China Dr. April Yoder, Little Rock, USA English Editors Mrs. Mira Bhojwani, Pune, India Dr. Fred Pluthero, Toronto, Canada

Journal of Threatened Taxa is indexed/abstracted in Zoological Records, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Index Fungorum, Bibliography of Systematic Mycology, EBSCO and Google Scholar.


Journal of Threatened Taxa ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)

May 2012 | Vol. 4 | No. 5 | Pages 2553–2616 Date of Publication 26 May 2012 (online & print) Communications Herpetofauna of Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh, India -- Abhijit Das, Dhruvajyoti Basu, Laurel Converse & Su­resh C. Choudhury, Pp. 2553–2568 An overview of fish fauna of Raigad District, northern Western Ghats, India -- Unmesh Katwate, Rupesh Raut & Sahir Advani, Pp. 2569–2577

Short Communication The genus Cyrtoptyx Delucchi (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae) from India, with a description of a new species from the southern Western Ghats of Kerala -- P.M. Sureshan, Pp. 2578–2581

Notes Report of two medicinal and aromatic gingers from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India -- M. Venkat Ramana, Johny Kumar Tagore & Avishek Bhattacharjee, Pp. 2582–2586

Range extension of Alysicarpus naikianus Pokle (Fabaceae) in western India -- S.Y. Chavan & M.M. Sardesai, Pp. 2590–2592 Exormotheca ceylonensis Meijer - a threatened liverwort in India, rediscovered in Palni Hills, Tamil Nadu -- Afroz Alam, Sharad Vats & Kambaska Kumar Behera, Pp. 2593–2595 New records of Tubulifera (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) from the state of Karnataka, India -- Kaomud Tyagi, Pp. 2596–2602 Synanthropic acarine population associated with bird nests -- Sudipta Chaudhury, Salil K. Gupta & Goutam K. Saha, Pp. 2603–2608 Occurrence of Mesostoma tetragonum (Müller) (Turbellaria) in the Deepar wetlands of Assam, India -- Girindra Kalita & M.M. Goswami, Pp. 2609–2613 Diversity and abundance of nematodes in the sewage of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India -- Razia Sultana & Padma Bohra, Pp. 2614–2616

Rediscovery of Uniyala multibracteata (Gamble) H. Rob & Skvarla (Asteraceae) from the southern Western Ghats, India -- E.S. Santhosh Kumar, P.E. Roy, S.M. Shareef & S.S. Usha, Pp. 2587–2589

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of articles in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


JoTT4(5):2553-2586May2012