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Puntius sanctus

Published: 1st Jun, 2020

Velankanni in Tamil Nadu has thrown up a new species of small freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae.


Velankanni in Tamil Nadu has thrown up a new species of small freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae.


  • The silver-hued fish has been christened Puntius sanctus — ‘sanctus’ is Latin for holy — after the popular pilgrim town.
  • Encountered in a small waterbody in Venlankanni, Puntius sanctus is small, it grows to a length of 7 cm.
  • It found use both as food and as an aquarium draw.
  • The Puntius species are known locally as ‘Paral’ in Kerala and ‘Kende’ in Tamil Nadu. They are purely freshwater fishes.
  • While the genus shows great species richness in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the specimen from Velankanni bears “distinct differences” from its Puntius cousins.
  • Its physical characteristics included a protractible mouth, a pair of maxillary barbels (a sensory organ near the snout), 24-25 lateral line scales and 10 pre-dorsal scales.
  • The identification of Puntius sanctus also indicated that many of our inland waterbodies were still unexplored.
  • Bioscience Research has published an article on the discovery.

Cyprinidae family:

  • Cyprinidae family, also commonly called the carp family or the minnow family, is a large family of freshwater fish containing many of the carp-like fishes and minnow types.
  • They can be found throughout Asia, most of Africa, Europe, and North America.
  • The only place they are not to be found is South America and Australia.
  • They come in all sizes from giant game fish to numerous small species less than 2 inches (5 cm).
  • Examples Included in the Cyprinidae family are well-known aquarium favorites such as barbs, danios, rasboras, and various freshwater sharks.
    • One of the best fish in this group for algae control is the Chinese Algae Eater.
    • This family also includes minnows, bitterlings, daces, asps, roachs, flying fox, and chubs.


  • The new fish is now deposited in Government of India museum (Zoological Survey of India) at Pune.
  • It has also been registered with ZooBank of the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature, the official authority for naming animals


  • ZooBank is the official registry of Zoological Nomenclature, according to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).
  • Currently, ZooBank accommodates the registration of four different kinds of data objects:
  • Nomenclatural Acts: Published usages of scientific names for animals, which represent nomenclatural acts as governed by the ICZN Code of Nomenclature. Most of these acts are ‘original descriptions’ of new scientific names for animals, but other acts may include emendations, lectotypifications, and other acts as governed by the ICZN Code.
  • Publications: Publications that contain Nomenclatural Acts, as defined above.
  • Authors: Anyone who is an author of one or more Publications (as defined above), or who is a contributor to ZooBank content.
  • Type Specimens: Type specimens for scientific names of animals. The registration of Type Specimens is considered provisional and is not yet fully implemented in ZooBank.

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