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International Student of Shanghai Ocean University Discovering a New Fish Record in Nepal for the First Time

The release date:2023-04-16view:10Set

Recently, under the guidance of Professors Li Chenhong and Yang Jinquan, Jash Hang Limbu, a Nepalese international student at the College of Fisheries and Life Science of SHOU, described a species of the genus Amblyceps collected from the Singhiya River in the Morang region of Nepal in collaboration with local fish researchers in Nepal. The species was recorded for the first time in Nepal’s aquatic ecosystem. Relevant research results were published on the International Journal of Zoology on April 8, 2023. Many national authoritative media, including Gorkhapatra, the oldest newspaper in Nepal, reported the discovery.

The research samples were collected during a survey on five rivers in the Jhapa and Morang regions of Koshi Province, Nepal from December 21, 2021 to September 5, 2022. The unknown species of the genus Amblyceps was collected from the lower reaches of the Singhiya River in the east of Buddanagar. The species was identified as Amblyceps waikhomi, a new species discovered along a tributary of the the Yarlung Zangbo River in 2016. This was the first time the species was discovered in the water systems of Nepal.

According to Bharat Raj Subba, a member of the research team and former associate professor of zoology at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, Amblyceps waikhomi is rarely seen. Only seven individuals were recorded within the scope of the Singhiya River during the whole survey period. Before that, only one of the 26 known species of the genus Amblyceps had been discovered in Nepal. The discovery of Amblyceps waikhomi in the water systems of Nepal in this study improved existing understanding of the diversity of local fish species.

Nepal is a mountainous country, located in the southern Himalayas, with a total of 270 species of fish recorded. There are relatively few studies on the biodiversity of local fish species in Nepal, and there may be a large number of hidden species waiting to be described. Jash Hang Limbu, a member of the research team, is currently studying for a doctoral degree at the Laboratory of Molecular Systems and Evolution of SHOU. He said that the first discovery of Amblyceps waikhomi in Nepal revealed a tip of the iceberg of the rich fish diversity in the water systems of Nepal, offering valuable data for research on the taxonomy and biogeography of the genus Amblyceps. In the future research, Jash will carry out more in-depth fish diversity survey and taxonomic and systematic research on the water systems of Nepal, with the purposes of further clarifying the species composition and population genetics of local fish populations and showing the world the interesting fish world in Nepal. A dream shared by him and his supervisor, Professor Li Chenhong, is to identify all the fish species in Nepal and publish a book on fish in Nepal, thereby building a bridge for academic exchanges between the two countries in ichthyology.

Jash Hang Limbu (right), main researcher of this study and a Nepalese student at SHOU

Coverage of this research result by Nepal’s national media

Sampling site of this survey

The Singhiya River (where Amblyceps waikhomi was discovered)

Amblyceps waikhomi: side (a), back (b), and ventral view (c)

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