Metadata

Monopterus eapeni

Talwar in Talwar and Jhingran 1992

Monopterus eapeni
Redrawn by Rhian Kendall from Eapen (1963)
ORDERSUB-ORDERFAMILY
SynbranchiformesSynbranchoideiSynbranchidae

Note

Species account reviwed by Ralph Britz

Synonyms

Monopterus indicus  Eapen 1963

Monopterus “indicus”  Eapen 1963 (by Rosen and Greenwood 1976)

Country

India

Types

Eapen based the description on a syntype series of five animals 130mm ‑ 162mm TL. The location of these specimens is unknown and they may be lost. Rosen and Greenwood (1976), in their thorough review and revision of synbranchiform fishes, did not examine this species because they could not obtain any specimens of it.

Distribution

Known only from the type‑locality, a 30 foot (10m) deep well at Kottayam, Kerala State, India (9o30’N, 76o30’E). This is also the type locality of Horaglanis krishnai and the two species coexist.

Habitat

The only published details are that the fish is found in dug-out wells. It may be an inhabitant of relatively small groundwater voids. Francy Kakkassery (pers. comm.) suggests that they live in the water table up to 10m below the surface and that they are only found where laterite is the predominant bed deposit.

Systematics

During their revision of the synbranchiform fishes Rosen and Greenwood (1976) examined specimens of Amphipnous indicus Silas and Dawson 1961. They were of the opinion that it was a member of the genus Monopterus. This created a case of homonymy with indicus Silas and Dawson predating indicus Eapen. Because they were unable to examine specimens of indicus Eapen, and determine its relationships within the Synbranchiformes, they decided against nomenclatural action and referred to the species as Monopterusindicus”. Subsequently Talwar (in Talwar and Jhingran 1992) provided a replacement name for M. “indicus” Eapen and called it M. eapeni. Britz et al. (2016) state that external similarity to West African Monopterus species suggests that M. eapeni might be a member of the ‘Amphipnous group’ within Monopterus.

Conservation Status

TLO [DD:3.1:2011]

(Raghavan, R. and Ali, A. 2011. Monopterus eapeni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172399A6884086.en. Downloaded on 06 July 2017). DD (IUCN, 1996, 2000). Since this species is known only from its type locality it is VU D2 at least. Dahanukar, Raut and Bhat (2004) assess this species as Critically Endangered but with any explanation of how they arrive at this status.

Museum Holdings

None known.

Key References

Eapen, K. C. Journal Article 1963 A new species of Monopterus from South India
Rosen, D. E. and Greenwood, P. H. Journal Article 1976 A fourth neotropical species of synbranchid eel and the phylogeny and systematics of synbranchiform fishes
Talwar, P. K. and Jhingran, A. G. Book Section 1992 Monopterus (Monopterus) eapeni Talwar, nova nom
Bailey, R. M. and Gans, C. Journal Article 1998 Two new synbranchid fishes, Monopterus roseni from penisular India and M. desilvai from Sri Lanka
Dahanukar, N, Raut, R and Bhat, A Journal Article 2004 Distribution, endemism and threat status of freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats of India
Dahanukar, N, Raghavan, R, Ali, A, Abraham, R and Shaji, CP Book Section 2011 Chapter 3. The status and distribution of freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats
Raghavan, R., Das, K, Nameer, PO, Bijukumar, A and Dahanukar, N Journal Article 2016 Protected area and imperriled endemic freshwater biodiversity in the Westren Ghats hotspot
Britz, R, Doherty-Bone, TM, Kouete, MT, Sykes, D and Gower, DJ Journal Article 2016 Monopterus luticolus, a new species of swamp eel from Cameroon (Teleostei: Synbranchidae)