Pisodonophis kalinga

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) recently made an exciting discovery in the waters of Odisha’s Ganjam district. Scientists from ZSI identified a previously unknown species of eel, which has been named Pisodonophis kalinga. This remarkable finding sheds light on the rich biodiversity of the region and underscores the importance of conservation efforts.

Naming the Species

The name “Pisodonophis kalinga” pays homage to the ancient name of Odisha. “kalinga snake eel” has been proposed as the common name for this unique species.

Taxonomic Classification

Pisodonophis kalinga belongs to the family Ophichthidae and the order Anguilliformes. These classifications provide valuable insights into the evolutionary lineage and characteristics of this newly discovered eel species.

Discovery Location and Collaborative Efforts

The new species of eel was found in the Palur canal, situated in Odisha’s Ganjam district. This area is renowned for its diverse aquatic ecosystems. In particular, the eels were spotted in the Chilika lagoon, which holds the distinction of being Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon. The collaborative efforts between ZSI, Berhampur University, and Ravenshaw University played a crucial role in this discovery. The teams worked together to document and study the unique eel species.

Abundance During Monsoon Season

The researchers found that Pisodonophis kalinga is abundantly present in the region during the monsoon season, which spans from September to November. The eel species demonstrates a preference for these specific climatic conditions, highlighting the importance of understanding seasonal variations in biodiversity.

Differentiating Pisodonophis kalinga from Pisodonophis boro

To differentiate Pisodonophis kalinga from a similar species called Pisodonophis boro, researchers conducted a detailed examination. They closely analyzed various aspects, such as the shape of the teeth, range of vertebrae, and position of the dorsal fin. These distinct characteristics provided conclusive evidence that Pisodonophis kalinga is a separate and previously unknown species.

Expanding Knowledge of Pisodonophis

With the discovery of Pisodonophis kalinga, the total number of known Pisodonophis species in the waters of India now stands at three. This finding adds to our understanding of the eel species within the family Ophichthidae, which encompasses numerous diverse species worldwide.

Implications for Conservation

The identification of Pisodonophis kalinga highlights the importance of biodiversity conservation efforts in the region. By documenting and studying new species, scientists can better understand the ecological dynamics and promote conservation initiatives to safeguard these unique creatures and their habitats.




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