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Snakeheads of Sri Lanka: A Taxonomic and Biogeographic Review

Authors:

W. P. Naalin Perera ,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, LK
About W. P. Naalin
Faculty of Graduate Science
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Sandun J. Perera,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Sandun J.
Department of Natural Resources, Faculty of Applied Sciences
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Chaminda N. Walpita,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Chaminda N.
Department of Livestock Production, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
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Suranga Kodithuwakku,

Peradeniya University, LK
About Suranga
Department of Animal science,  Faculty of Agriculture
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Lasith V. Perera,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Lasith V.
Faculty of Applied Sciences
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Ajith Gunawardane

Central Environmental Authority, LK
About Ajith
Central Environmental Authority
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Abstract

Purpose : Fish species of the family Channidae, commonly known as snakeheads, represent biggest and most caught native freshwater species in Sri Lanka. Despite importance for biodiversity and fisheries in Sri Lanka, members of this family are one of the least studied on taxonomic status and geographic distribution.


Research Method : As an initial step of a study to revise the taxonomy and biogeography of freshwater fish in the family Channidae based on molecular phylogenetic and morphological relationships and biogeographical affinities, authors reviewed all the available published information and examined the specimens available at the National Museum of Sri Lanka.


Findings : Six valid species have been recorded; Channa ara (Deraniyagala, 1945), C. marulius (Hamilton, 1822) C. kelaartii (Gunther,1861), C. orientalis Bloch and Schneider 1801 C. punctata (Bloch, 1794) and C. striata (Bloch, 1793). Current review suggests the exiting knowledge on the phylogeny and biogeography of Channidae in Sri Lanka is far from complete, identifying specific gaps to be prioritized in future research.


Limitations : Current regional studies on the family Chanidae highlight the importance of a complete systematic revision of Sri Lankan species with an integrative approach. Literature review shows the necessity of a fresh analysis on the distribution data with ecological niche modeling and molecular phylogenetic studies to understand biogeographical and evolutionary history of the family.


Originality / Value : Provides a consolidated account of the current knowledge on the taxonomy and biogeography of the Sri Lankan members of the family Channidae.

How to Cite: Perera, W.P.N., Perera, S.J., Walpita, C.N., Kodithuwakku, S., Perera, L.V. and Gunawardane, A., 2020. Snakeheads of Sri Lanka: A Taxonomic and Biogeographic Review. Journal of Agricultural Sciences – Sri Lanka, 15(3), pp.411–425. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jas.v15i3.9032
Published on 01 Sep 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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