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Ophichthus Suryai

20th June, 2024 Environment

Ophichthus Suryai

Source: Deccan Herald 

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  • Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India's regional centre in Gopalpur, Odisha, discovered a new snake eel species, Ophichthus Suryai, in various estuarine ecosystems across the state.
  • The discovery, confirmed through detailed morphological, meristic, and molecular analysis, honours Surya Kumar Mohanty, a former joint director of the state fishery department.


Key Points

  • Discovery of Ophichthus Suryai:
    • Location: Specimens were collected from the Subarnarekha river at Talasara in Balasore district, Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district, and Bahuda river near Sunapur in Ganjam district.
    • Identification: The species was identified and confirmed through DNA analysis and morphological studies conducted at the ZSI laboratory in Gopalpur.
  • Unique Characteristics:
  • Distinguishing Features: The new species differs from its congeners (Ophichthus alleni, Ophichthus zophistius, and Ophichthus altipennis) by having the dorsal fin origin just above or slightly anterior to the gill opening.
  • Vertebral Count and Teeth Patterns: Unique vertebral count and teeth patterns consisting of multiple rows on both maxilla and mandible.
  • Genus Identification: Initially identified to belong to the genus Ophichthus through examination of morphological, meristic, and molecular characters.
  • Publication:
  • Research Paper: The detailed characteristics of Ophichthus Suryai were published in the Bulletin of Marine Science on June 13.
  • Authors: The research paper was co-authored by Anil Mohapatra, Rajesh Kumar Behera, Subhendu Kumar Mishra, and Smrutirekha Acharya.
  • Significance:
  • Biodiversity: This discovery adds to the biodiversity knowledge of estuarine ecosystems in Odisha.
  • Scientific Contribution: Enhances understanding of marine biology and the genetic diversity of snake eels.
  • Honor: Named to honour Surya Kumar Mohanty for his contributions to the state fishery department.


Deccan Herald


Q. Consider the following statements regarding Ophichthus Suryai:

1.       Ophichthus Suryai was discovered in the estuarine ecosystems of Odisha.

2.       The species is named in honor of a renowned marine biologist from Japan.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: a)