Dario urops

clip_image002Dario urops is the scientific name of a new species of freshwater fish in a stream in the Western Ghats in southern Karnataka in June 2012.

The study was published in the latest edition of international taxonomy journal Zootaxa. The name Dario urops is derived from Greek words meaning “tail” and “eye” to denote a conspicuous spot near its tail.

This is a significant discovery from a bio-geographic perspective as Dario urops is the first member of the Badidae family that has been described from the Western Ghats. The remaining 19 species within the family are distributed in the rivers of Eastern Himalayas and Indo-Burma. The fish, coloured yellowish beige with blue-gray fins and measuring not more than 3 cm, was collected from among tree roots that grew into the edge of the stream flowing off the Barapole tributary of the Valapattanam river and from the thick layers of leaf litter collected in depressions in the river bed.