A new species of loach described herein as Mustura yangi was discovered in northern Myanmar by researchers from Kunming Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National University of Singapore and Forest Research Institute of Myanmar. The study was published online in Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.
Putao, located in northern Myanmar, has special species diversity. During a series of field surveys in the Mali Hka River drainage around the vicinity of Putao, North Kachin, Myanmar, some unusual specimens of Nemacheilidae fish were collected by researchers, and they were identified to be new species.
According to the diagnostic characters of genus Mustura in morphological characteristics and molecular phylogenetic evidence, researchers suggested that most species of Physoschistura and a few species of Schistura from Southeast Asian region should be moved to the genus Mustura. Up till now, 16 valid species were included in the genus Mustura.
Mustura yangi is distinguished from its congeners of Mustura based on the following combination of characters such as 6-7 dark grey bars on flank often dissociated into a blotch and a saddle, numerous and irregular spots on the head, extremely dorsally situated eyes, well-formed axillary pelvic lobe, prominent air-bladder with a minute posterior chamber in abdominal cavity, males with suborbital flap, lateral line complete, and a slender caudal peduncle. It is known only in Mali Hka drainage on Putao plain, a tributary of Irrawaddy River in northern Myanmar.
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