Catfishes Sperata are popular, known for its taste and nutritional value, and are found naturally in wide variety of freshwaters in South Asia. The taxonomy of Sperata spp., sampled from Hakaluki Haor in Bangladesh, was re‐evaluated based on morphological variation and DNA barcoding. The collective variation in morphometric characters and mitochondrial DNA revealed an undescribed old and well‐separated lineage under the genus Sperata along with two previously known Sperata aor and Sperata seenghala in Bangladesh. Analyses of morphological traits suggested significant differentiation among Sperata species. The variation in mitochondrial DNA supported the distinct lineage and taxonomical discrimination. Sperata aor diverged earlier from the new lineage and Sperata seenghala with a divergence of 5.39 (CI: 3.91–7.19) Mya (PP > 90). Sperata seenghala and the new lineage shared a most recent common ancestry, which diverged from each other around 3.41 (CI: 2.24–4.62) Mya (PP > 90). Thus, the newly identified lineage could be a subspecies of S. seenghala or even a species under the genus Sperata. The information of the study will be useful for conservation, sustainable management and selective breeding of the putative species, including previously reported S. aor and S. seenghala in Bangladesh.
Acta Zoologica – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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