Dawkinsia, new genus


Etymology. The genus is named for Richard Dawkins, for his contribution to the public understanding of science and, in particular, of evolutionary science

A synopsis of the South Asian fishes referred to Puntius
(Pisces: Cyprinidae)

The tropical Asian cyprinid genus Puntius, which contains some 120 valid species, has long been suspected to be polyphyletic. Here, through an examination of external morphology, osteology, and analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome b gene fragments from 31 South Asian species hitherto referred to Puntius, we show that these fishes represent at least five lineages recognisable as genera. Puntius sensu stricto has the rostral barbels absent; last unbranched dorsal-fin ray weak or strong, smooth; and lateral line complete, with 22-28 pored scales. Systomus possesses maxillary and rostral barbels; last unbranched dorsal-fin ray stiff (‘osseous’), serrated; and lateral line complete, with 27-34 scales. Three new genera are proposed: Dawkinsia (type species Leuciscus fila mentosus) is distinguished by lacking rostral barbels; having the last unbranched dorsal-fin ray smooth; lateral line complete, with 18-22 scales; and a juvenile colour pattern that includes three black bars on the body. Dra­vidia (type species Cirrhinus fasciatus) is distinguished by having both rostral and maxillary barbels present; lateral line complete, with 18–26 pored scales; dorsal fin with 4 unbranched and 8 branched rays, last unbranched dorsal-fin ray smooth; infraorbital 3 deep, partly overlapping the preoperculum; and free uroneural and postepiphysial fontanelle absent. Pethia (type species Barbus nigrofasciatus) is distinguished by having the last unbranched dorsal-fin ray stiff, serrated; infraorbital 3 deep, partially overlapping preoperculum; rostral barbels absent; maxillary barbels absent or minute; a black blotch on the caudal peduncle; and frequently, black blotches, spots or bars on the side of the body. The identities of Puntius sophore and Systomus immaculatus are clarified through the designation of neotypes; a lectotype is designated for Neolissochilus bovanicus; and precedence is given to the spelling bovanicus over bovianicus.
Link to pdf

continue to source article at pfeil-verlag.de


  1. An entire genus! What and honour – and a fitting one at that!  Well deserved, I say, and “lacking rostral barbels” just like the man himself!

  2. Congratulations to Richard. Are we now to understand that ‘lacking rostral barbels’ will be forever associated with the good Professor?

  3. That fish looks related to what aquarists call “the barbs” after their drooping mouth parts. They are robust and pugnacious.
    e.g Pethia conchonius (Rosy Barb)  Puntius tetrazona(Tiger Barb).

  4. Correct – it’s in the Cyprinidae family, which includes Carps and Barbs. Carps and Barbs … someone trying to tell us something ..? 8) 

  5. Bravo, Richard. Ichthyologists all over the world applaud you. And we do too. Becoming part of scientific nomenclature is a kind of immortality, isn’t it?

  6. That’s a nice touch!  (I hope you don’t get “lumped” at some future date!)

  7. Forgive me for repeating something I’ve said elsewhere, but this reminded me of a lovely story about  my beloved (and very distinguished) colleague W D Hamilton. He was on an expedition up the Amazon with his co-worker Peter Henderson and he was stung by a wasp. “Can you identify that wasp, Bill?” Peter asked. “Er, yes, actually I can” answered Bill in his gloomiest Eeyore tones. “As a matter of fact, it’s named after me.”


  8. Congratulations, Professor!

    Since there is a large overlap between atheists and pythonites, might we now consider the phrase “Dawkinsia-Slapping Dance” to go with “The Hitch-Slap”?

  9. Stafford Gordon:
    “Quite right to. Can we expect Dawkinsia fish fingers?”
    Yes, after they’ve evolved.  ^_^

    “I’m  bit busy but I’ll try to scribble his head on to that fish later”
    How about designing a suitable emblem, in the fish way, for sticking on the back of a car? My irony meter is tingling a bit about Richard eponymous genus being a fish!

    Richard: Congratulations! You have achieved another measure of “eternal life”. 😉

  10. Well deserved congratulations to Richard. This event may require an additional celebratory Dawkinsia necktie design.

  11. Ah, well now we have a symmetry of sorts:

    Jesus Fish

    Dawkins Fish

    I await the appropriately stylish bumper stickers bearing this one.

    Had the honor gone to a slug or fungus, we would have been denied this opportunity.

  12. Perhaps someone should name that plastic fish with IXOYE inside it that people glue to the back of their cars after Benny Hinn.

    “Perhaps someone should name that plastic fish with IXOYE inside it that people glue to the back of their cars after Benny Hinn.”

    How about an almost indistinguishable parody on IXOYE:
    (scroll down about 18 items on the left).
    I have this one on my car… occasionally it gets a response.

  14. shouldn’t it be “Leuciscus filamentosus” rather than “Leuciscus fila mentosus”?

    The former would mean “dace / minnow covered with filaments”, whereas the latter would be the (grammatically incomprehensible) “dace / minnow (threads) covered with chins”

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