The identity and distribution of Bhavania annandalei Hora, 1920 (Cypriniformes: Balitoridae), a hillstream loach endemic to the Western Ghats of India

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Remya L. Sundar
V.K. Anoop
Arya Sidharthan
Neelesh Dahanukar
Rajeev Raghavan


Bhavania annandalei Hora 1920, is resurrected from the synonymy of B. australis (Jerdon, 1849) based on examination of freshly collected topotypic specimens.  The two species can be distinguished by a combination of morphological characters including low, dense, and sparsely distributed tubercles on dorsal surface of head and operculum, rostral barbels reaching anterior border of upper lip, rostral flaps between the rostral barbels fleshier, 11–12 scale rows above the lateral line, and caudal peduncle stout with its depth to width ratio less than 2.5.  The two species formed significantly distinct clusters in multivariate space.  Further, the two species have a raw genetic distance of 6.4% in the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene.  The distribution of B. annandalei is restricted to the river systems draining the Agasthyamalai Hills, below the Shencottah Gap in southern Western Ghats, while B. australis occurs in rivers north of the Shencottah Gap. 

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