Pangio bhujia

Anoop, Britz, Arjun, Dahanukar and Raghavan 2019

CypriniformesCobitoidei Cobitidae






Holotype: BNHS FWF 980 25.4mm SL.

Paratypes: BNHS FWF 981-996 22.1mm-26.4mm SL.


Known only from the type locality: a 6m deep well at Cherinjal, Kozhikode District, Kerala State, India (11°17’42”N, 75°52’7”E, altitude 40m).


In common with other subterranean fishes in the area (Horaglanis krisnai, H. alikunhii, H. abdulkalami, Kryptoglanis shajii, Kryptoglanis undet, Monopterus eapeni, M. roseni, M. digressus, Aenigmachanna gollum and A. mahabali) this species probably inhabits very small openings within the laterite aquifer. These are probably of the order of 5-10cm maximum diameter though there may well me many kilometers of tunnels overall. Animals are only seen, and sampled, via man-made well used for water-supply purposes.


Pangio ammophila Britz, Ali and Raghavan 2012 is also known from the Western Ghats but P. bhujia is not closely related to it with a 15% difference in mitochondrial cox1 gene sequence (Anoop et al. 2019). P. bhujia is 18% different for the same gene from P. pangia (Hamilton 1822) from northern India.

Biological Notes

Pangio bhujia appears to be a relatively long evolved troglomorph. It has little or no pigment, tiny eyes covered with skin, and a further, and not often seen troglomorphic character, of relatively very big eggs.

Eyes greatly reduced, pigment greatly reduced (GR/GR phenotype of Farley (2021), see also Metadata section for more details of this classification).

Conservation Status


Museum Holdings

As above only.

Key References

Biju, S.D. and Bossuyt, F. Journal Article 2003 New frog family from India reveals an ancient biogeographical link with the Seychelles
Bossuyt, F., Meegaskumbura, M., Beenaerts, N., Gower, D.J., Pethiyagoda, R., Roelants, K., Mannaert, A., Wilkinson, M., Bahir, M.M., Manamendra-Arachchi, K., Ng, P.K.L., Schneider, C.K., Oommen, O.V. and Milinkovitch, M.C. Journal Article 2004 Local endemism within the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot
Roelants, K., Jiang, J. and Bossuyt, F. Journal Article 2004 Endemic ranid (Amphibia: Anura) genera in southern mountain ranges of the Indian subcontinent represent ancient frog lineages: evidence from molecular data
Gunawardene, N.R. et al. Journal Article 2007 A brief overview of the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot
Varma, A. Book 2017 Groundwater resource and governance in Kerala: status issues and prospects
Britz, R., Anoop, V.K., Dahanukar, H. and Raghavan, R. Journal Article 2019 The subterranean Aenigmachanna gollum, a new genus and species of snakehead (Teleostei: Channidae) from Kerala, India
Anoop, V.K., Britz, R., Arjun, C.P., Dahanukar, N. and Raghavan, R. Journal Article 2019 Pangio bhujia, a new, peculiar species of miniature subterranean eel loach lacking dorsal and pelvic fins from India (Teleostei: Cobitidae)
Sidharthan, A., Raghavan, R., Anoop, V.K., Philip. S. and Dahanukar, N. Journal Article 2020 Riddle on the riffle: Miocene diversification and biogeography of endemic mountain loaches in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot
Britz, R., Dahanukar, N., Anoop, V.K., Philip, S., Clark, B., Raghavan, R. and Rüber, L. Journal Article 2020 Aenigmachannidae, a new family of snakehead fishes (Teleostei: Channoidei) from subterranean waters of South India
Raghavan, R., Britz, R. and Dahanukar, N. Journal Article 2021 Poor groundwater governance threatens ancient subterranean fishes