Rare variety of fish comes out of water tap at Kottayam household
Kottayam: Indian blind catfish, a very rare species of fish, came out of a water tap at a house at Perumbaikad here. When householder Arun Gopinath found the strange fish similar to a centipede, he took a picture of it and sent it to his friend who is a Mathrubhumi correspondent. He forwarded the picture to Dr T V Anna Mercy, a retired professor at Kerala University of Fisheries, who identified it to be the Indian blind catfish.
The fish is pink coloured and has moustache. It has an average length of 6 centimetres. This is the only variety of blind catfish in India. Its scientific name is ‘Horaglanis Krishnai’. Arun and his family took care of the fish by feeding it with worms for a week and then they handed it over to the zoology department of the Government College at Nattakom.
Story behind name
The fish ‘Horaglanis Krishnai’ was first found out from the well of Nallankal Krishna Pillai and thus the fish was named after him. When Dr Anna Mercy did her PhD on Horaglanis Krishnai in 1970s, many wells at Thazhathangadi, Karapuzha and Nagampadam were emptied.
Dr Anna Mercy collected 151 blind catfish from 9 different sites and she submitted her research report in 1981. This is the sole authentic study on the Indian blind catfish so far. When the British Museum celebrated its 100th anniversary, the only Indian fish kept in the exhibition was a blind catfish.