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Marine Biodiversity Records, page 1 of 2. # Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 2010 doi:10.1017/S1755267210000345; Vol.

3; e56; 2010 Published online

First record of the at toadsh, Colletteichthys dussumieri (Batrachoidiformes: Batrachoididae) from estuarine waters of India
sebastian roja, p.r. anilkumar and k.y. mohammed salih
Cochin University of Science and Technology, Lakeside Campus, Cochin 682016, Ernakulam, Kerala, India The present paper reports the rst record of occurrence of the at toadsh Colletteichthys dussumieri in the estuarine waters of India and the warmer waters of the coasts of the Arabian Gulf to India and Sri Lanka. It is often misidentied as Allenbatrachus grunniens (Linnaeus, 1758). Discrepancies in meristic and morphological characters were observed.

Keywords: Colletteichthys, Batrachoididae, Indian estuaries

Submitted 3 August 2009; accepted 17 March 2010

The family Batrachoididae, or toadsh, is the sole family in the order Batrachoidiformes (Haplodoci). They are a group of small to medium-sized bottom sh represented by 25 genera and 78 species (Greeneld et al., 2008) that inhabit warm waters of the coasts of America, Europe, Africa and India. Colletteichthys dussumieri is the only species in the genus Colletteichthys. Valenciennes, in Cuvier & Valenciennes (1837) described Batrachus dussumieri from Malabar, India, but the genus Batrachus is unavailable (Greeneld, 2006). Day (1876), in his classical work on the Fishes of India, has given the systematic account of this species as Batrachus grunniens (Bloch.) (Hutchins, 1981). Bhimachar & Venkataraman (1952), while studying the inshore sh population of the Malabar coast, reported the species as Batrachus grunniens (Bloch.). Smith (1949) described the genus Austrobatrachus for the South African species Pseudobatrachus foedus Smith, 1947. Menon (1963) utilized Smiths genus for B. dussumieri; with the exception of Nagabhushanam & Rama Rao (1970) who used Halophyrne; the species has been referred to as A. dussumieri (Hutchins, 1981, 1984; Randall, 1995; Carpenter et al., 1997). While comparing dussumieri with Austrobatrachus foedus Greeneld (2006) observed wide deviation between their morphology and described a new genus Colletteichthys for the species and later placed it in the subfamily Halophyryninae (Greeneld et al., 2008). It is often misidentied as Batrachus grunniens (Linnaeus, 1758), now called Allenbatrachus grunniens. Specimens of C. dussumieri were collected from Cochin Estuary (south-west coast of India) using gill-nets (70-mm). Morphometric and meristic characters are given in Table 1. The specimens agree well with the data from the holotype

given by Greeneld (2006) (Table 2), except in the vertebral and lateral pore count. Randall (1995) in his book states that the species may occur in coral reefs or in seagrass or weedy bottoms and has been collected in tidepools. This rst record of C. dussumieri from the Indian estuary corroborates the statement of Randall (1995) and indicates a marked extension of the distribution from its type locality (Malabar, 30 fathoms) and divergence in meristic and morphological characters.

Three solid dorsal-n spines without venom glands; three solid opercular and one short subopercular spine, often with a small second point below; two subopercular laments; upper accessory pectoral-n radial totally ossied; three lateral lines present, the upper with 43 53 pores, the middle with about six, and the lower with 26 30; no photophores; no scales; a funnel-shaped pit at top of pectoral-n axil,
Table 1. Morphometric measures of Colletteichthys dussumieri (in mm, mean + standard deviation) from estuarine waters of India. Male (N 5 17) Total length Standard length Head length Snout length Post-orbital length Inter-orbital length Eye diameter Pre-rst dorsal n Pre-second dorsal n Pre-pectoral length Pre-pelvic length Pre-anal length Body depth Depth through anal n Caudal peduncle depth 22.850 + 2.420 18.740 + 2.040 7.690 + 1.020 1.510 + 0.280 5.050 + 0.570 2.510 + 0.399 1.150 + 0.160 6.980 + 0.908 9 + 1.150 6.51 + 0.885 5.4 + 0.956 11.5 + 1.298 4.88 + 0.839 4.75 + 0.550 1.86 + 0.197 Female (N 5 5) 20.04 + 1.820 16.42 + 1.320 6.94 + 0.780 1.3 + 0.170 4.26 + 0.510 2.18 + 0.290 1 + 0.120 6.16 + 0.510 8.18 + 0.589 6.04 + 0.810 5.2 + 0.696 10.58 + 0.730 4.12 + 0.730 4.36 + 0.520 1.7 + 0.120

Corresponding author: S. Roja Email:

sebastian roja et al.

Table 2. Comparison of selected meristics and proportional measurements of Colletteichthys dussumieri from the Cochin Estuary with the holotype (Greeneld, 2006). Cochin Estuary Head length into SL Body depth into SL Dorsal-n elements Anal-n rays Pectoral-n rays Vertebrae No. of lateral lines Upper lateral line pores Middle lateral line pores Lower lateral line pores 2.4 3.91 III1921 1617 2122 29 3 5055 8 3038 Greeneld (2006) 2.42.8 3.64.2 III1922 1517 2124 27 3 4353 6 2630

Carpenter K.E., Harrison P.L., Hodgson G., Alsaffar A.H. and Alhazeem S.H. (1997) The corals and coral reef shes of Kuwait. Safat, Kuwait: Kuwait Institute for Scientic Research, 166 pp. Cuvier G. and Valenciennes A. (1837) Histoire naturelle de poissons. Tome douzieme. Suite du livre quatorzieme. Gobioides. Livre quin zieme. Acanthopterygiens a pectorals pediculees. Volume 12. Paris, France: Levrault, 507 pp. Day F. (1876) The shes of India; being a natural history of the shes known to inhabit the seas and freshwaters of India, Burma, and Ceylon with descriptions of the subclasses, orders, families, genera and species. London: Quaritch, Part 2, 169368, B. Greeneld D.W. (2006) Two new toadsh genera (Teleostei: Batrachoididae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Series 4 57, 945954. Greeneld D.W., Winterbottom R. and Collette B.B. (2008) Review of the toadsh genera (Teleostei: Batrachoididae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Series 4 59, 665710. Hutchins J.B. (1981) Nomenclatural status of the toadshes of India. Copeia 1981, 336341. Hutchins J.B. (1984) Batrachoididae. Fischer W. and Bianchi G. (eds) FAO Species Identication sheets for Fishery Purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fish in Area 51). Volume I. Italy: FAO, Rome, 4 pp. (un-numbered). Linnaeus C. (1758) Systema naturae. Ed. 10. Tomus 1.l. Salvii, Holmiae. Menon A.G.K. (1963) Taxonomy of the Indian frog-shes (Family Batrachoididae). LABDEAV, J.S.T., Kanpur, 1, 2 pp. (un-numbered). Nagabhushanam A.K. and Rama Rao K.V. (1970) A review of the taxonomy of the Indian frog-shes (Family Batrachoididae). Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 67, 339344. Randall J.E. (1995) Coastal shes of Oman. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press, 389 pp. and

with glandular tissue inside and extending from ventral pit margin onto axil; interorbital areas not crossed by conspicuous skin ridges; head into SL 2.4 to 2.8 times; two rows of pointed teeth in anterior portion of lower jaw; sides of lower jaw with single row of pointed teeth; upper jaw with three rows of pointed teeth anteriorly, two rows on side, grading into single row posteriorly; vomer and palatine with single row of pointed teeth; dorsal-n elements III, 19 22; anal-n rays, 15 17; pectoral-n rays, 21 24; vertebrae, 29. The colour pattern light brown, shading to white ventrally, with four, irregular, branching, dark brown bars on body and dark bands and blotches on head and n. Maximum length obtained is 30.5 cm.


We thank Dr David W. Greeneld, CAS for his valuable suggestions.

Smith J.L.B. (1949) The sea shes of South Africa. Annals and Magazine of Natural History Series 11 13, 793821.

Bhimachar B.S. and Venkataraman G. (1952) A preliminary study of the sh populations along the Malabar coast. Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences XVII, no. 6.

Correspondence should be addressed to: S. Roja Cochin University of Science and Technology Lakeside Campus, Cochin 682016, Ernakulam Kerala, India email: