Sri Lanka is home to four species of Ankutta or catfish. One, scientifically classified as Mystus keletius, has been identified as a species native to both Sri Lanka and India, but new analysis by Dr. Heok Hee Ng and Rohan Pethiyagoda on this species has confirmed the Sri Lankan species is different from the Indian fish and found only in the streams of this island.
Mr Pethiyagoda said the new species was widespread in both the wet and the dry zones and found in rivers and reservoirs up to an elevation of about 500 metres. The species was described entirely from specimens that had been collected in Sri Lanka in the period 1934-1969 and preserved in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution and California Academy of Sciences, which lent them to the researchers for study. Dr. Heok Ng is Asia’s foremost expert on catfish.