Three new eel species discovered in Bay of Bengal
Scientists from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered three new species of eel along northern Bay of Bengal coast. They are Gymnothorax pseudotile, Gymnothorax visakhaensis and Enchelycore propinqua.
Gymnothorax pseudotile: It was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. It has dark brown and white dots on the dorsal side. It is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long.
Gymnothorax visakhaensis: It was discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is uniformly brown. It is about a foot long.
Enchelycore propinqua: It was also discovered from Visakhapatnam coast. It is reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots. It is the smallest of three measuring less than a foot.
Eels are found mostly at bottom of rivers and seas. There are about 1,000 species of eels identified so far across the world. In India, there are around 125 species of eels identified. Eel species belonging to Muraenidae family, referred commonly as Moray eels, recorded about 200 species of which more than 30 species are found in India.
With these new discoveries, Bay of Bengal coast has yielded at least 5 new species of eel. In 2016, Gymnothorax indicus, an edible species of eel was discovered. In 2015, a short brown unpatterned moray eel, named Gymnothorax mishrai (Bengal moray eel) was discovered.