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In yet another remarkable addition to his list of discoveries, Limaakum, an assistant professor in the Department of Zoology at Fazl Ali College, Mokokchung, has once again discovered a new fish species, now officially named Badis limaakumi in his honor. He has been dedicated to researching fish species in Nagaland since 2020.

What is Badis Limaakumi?

This newly discovered fish species goes by several local names, including ‘Tepdang,’ ‘Akngashi (Ao Chungli),’ ‘Aokngatsü (Ao Mongsen),’ and ‘Sempi,’ among others.

These fish appear black in their natural habitat but undergo a remarkable color change when placed in an aquarium or different environments. This unique trait has earned them the nickname ‘chameleon fish,’ with the extent of color change linked to the level of stress the fish experiences.

Notable features include its relatively large and slender body, the absence of blotches on its sides and fins, and a significant number of lateral-line scales. Furthermore, Limaakum mentioned that male Badis species typically exhibit larger size and more vibrant colors compared to females.

Currently, there are about 25 recognized Badis species, with 15 of them reported in India. Badis species inhabit freshwater bodies such as rivers, ponds, and marshes in northern India, eastern Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, and Indus basins. They are predatory by nature, feeding on tiny freshwater invertebrates.