Macrognathus albus Plamoottil & Abraham, 2014
Spotless spiny eel
photo by Plamoottil, M.

Family:  Mastacembelidae (Spiny eels)
Max. size:  21.15 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; freshwater
Distribution:  Asia: Manimala River in Kerala, India.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 26-30; Dorsal soft rays (total): 62-65; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 56-62. Macrognathus albus can be distinguished by the following characters: absence of any bands or bars on body; 26- 29 irregular blotches on mid dorsal line from top of operculum to base of caudal; absence of pre-orbital spine; spinous part of dorsal fin originating considerably behind the end of pectoral fin; head longer and deeper, eyes located closely, body width lesser, pre dorsal and pre anal distances greater (Ref. 97143).
Biology:  The type locality, Manimala River, is highly sinuous and generally rocky with deep pools at certain locations and sand deposit occurring as sporadic patches or fillings in the pools. It has more or less scanty riparian vegetation. The river has bed materials generally of coarser grade and very low sand content. The width of the river channel ranges from 45-110 m and water depth in the active channel during summer seasons ranges from 0.5 m-3 m. This species occurs together with the following fish species: Anguilla bengalensis, Salmostoma boopis, Danio malabaricus, Barilius bakeri, Gonoproktopterus kurali, Rasbora daniconius, Puntius mahecola, Haludaria fasciatus, Pethia ticto, Dawkinsia filamentosa, Systomus subnasutus, Batasio travancoria, Ompok malabaricus, Clarias dussumieri, Heteropneustes fossilis, Mesonoemacheilus triangularis, Bhavania australis, Xenentodon cancila, Aplocheilus lineatus, Parambassis thomassi, Etroplus maculatus, Etroplus suratensis, Anabas testudineus, Pristolepis malabaricus, Mastacembelus armatus, Macrognathus guentheri, etc. (Ref. 97143).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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