First record of Bengal reticulated puffer Chelonodontops bengalensis (Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae) from Odisha coast, north-western Bay of Bengal with taxonomic notes
The present study reports the first record of Bengal reticulated puffer, Chelonodontops bengalensis from Odisha coast in the north-western Bay of Bengal based on two specimens (226 – 301 mm SL), each collected from Paradeep and Bahabalpur in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The detailed morphological features of C. bengalensis are provided and compared with its previous records. The species is distinguished from its congeners by having 12 dorsal fin rays, 10 anal fin rays, 18 – 19 pectoral fin rays, 10 – 11 caudal fin rays, nasal organ cup shaped with unequal sized flaps, and dorsal profile of body covered with white spots of various shape and size and ventral side silvery white. Our study indicated the range extension of C. bengalensis from its known geographical range i.e. Bangladesh and West Bengal towards south in the northern Bay of Bengal.
Bengal reticulated puffer, Chelonodontops bengalensis, First record, Odisha coast, Range extension
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