Thai university unveils new fish species

Chiang Mai's Maejo University has unveiled a new species of hill-stream loach, found specifically in the upper area of the Mae Chaem river basin.

The fish was displayed at the university's 80th anniversary event from December 4-10 and will be studied and bred for conservation due to its rarity.

The 3cm-long fish - also carrying the royally granted name of the "Chaofa Chulabhorn" loach, after HRH Princess Chulabhorn Valayalaksana - belongs to the family Physoschistura, of which there are now 12 recognised species, said Apinun Suvarnaraksha, a researcher at the Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources. The discovery is an indication of the area's fertility and non-pollution, hence the river basin should be preserved, he said.