It’s official: Vizag’s ‘Rayichapalu’ has been declared one of the rarest fish in the world

And the scientific community will know this fish by the name of the city where it was discovered.
It’s official: Vizag’s ‘Rayichapalu’ has been declared one of the rarest fish in the world
It’s official: Vizag’s ‘Rayichapalu’ has been declared one of the rarest fish in the world
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Thursday was a special day for the fisher folk of Vizag: Their regular catch - ‘Ranguchapulu’ - was named by researchers from the Marine Living Resources Department of Andhra University as one of the rarest species of fish in the world.

The tiny, colourful fish, called ‘Ranguchapulu’ or ‘Rayichapalu’ by the fisherfolk, will have the scientific name ‘Pseudathias Vizagensis’, after the city where it was first discovered.

The process of naming Ranguchapulu a rare and special species began in 2013, says Dr Govinda Rao. He was doing his doctoral studies at the Marine Resources Department along with his colleague, Dr NM Krishna, under their head of department Dr Prof Venu, and this was the project they chose.

While Govinda Rao is now Assistant Professor in Adikavi Nannaya University, Dr NM Krishna is working as Senior Research Fellow in Central Institute of Fisheries (CIFT) in Visakhapatnam.

For four years, the researchers have been working to name the fish one of the rarest in the world.  

Speaking to TNM, Dr Govinda Rao says, “While we knew in 2013 itself that Ranguchapulu was unlike other fish, we needed to get the approval of different agencies to officially name it.  

“Our thesis, which studies the mass and molecular analysis of the fish, got approved by World Fish Base recently. Our paper was also published in the reputed Journal of Experimental Zoology,” he adds.

Ranguchapulu is a colourful fish which is around 97mm in length and lives near the reefs. Scientists also say that Vizagensis is only the fifth fish in this size category.

The researchers explain that this fish has a unique colour pattern with spectacular diamond shaped bands.

“Species observation reveals to us that it has one 'conical tooth' at the front of its jaw, with twenty or twenty two slender teeth,” Dr Govinda Rao explains.

Fisher folk in the region say that the fish can be found all along the east coast, at a depth of 80-120 metres, and can also be seen at harbour fisheries catchments.

Now, this special specimen will be conserved at the Andhra University's Marine Resources Museum.

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