New eel species discovered in Mumbai well

What is the news?

A new species of swamp eel belonging to the genus Rakthamicthys that is endemic to India was discovered in a well in Mumbai. It was named Rakthamichthys Mumba – the Mumbai blind eel. This is the fifth species from the genus to be described from India.

Also, this is the first completely blind subterranean freshwater fish species to be described from Maharashtra and the Northern western Ghats.


New eel species discovered in Mumbai well. Photo: Anil Mohapatra / Zoological Survey of India
Source: DTE
Rakthamichthys mumba

The eel has been named Rakthamichthys mumba, based on the city in which it was found. Unlike other species of its genus, the mumba lacks eyes, fins and scales.

Rakthamichthys mumba differs from its congener from Western Ghats of India by the possession of jaws-projecting forward equally, when viewed laterally, absence of eyes and having more vertebrae.

The present known habitat of the species is only the Mumbai well.

Source: This post is based on the article “New eel species discovered in Mumbai well” published in Down to Earth on 1st Oct 2021.

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