New fish and bird species for Bhutan, recorded from Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary (PWS)

Striped dwarf catfish (Mystus vittatus)

Kinga Norbu, Forestry Officer


Striped dwarf catfish is a species of catfish of the family Bagridae. It is found in brackish water systems with marginal vegetation in lakes and swamps with a mud substrate of Asian countries of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and probably Myanmar. However, in PWS it was first recorded in 2017 and consecutively in 2018 in running Singye stream at an elevation of 213 masl (26°46’18.78″N; 90°11’23.83″E). The population is known to be decreasing in recent past, due to catching, pet trading and habitat destruction (IUCN, 2010).


As per (Pethiyagoda, 1991) Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 6-7; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 12 -13; Vertebrae: 31-37. Body elongate and slightly compressed. Maxillary barbels extending beyond the pelvic fins, often to the end of the anal fin. Dorsal spine weak, finely serrated on its inner edge. Adipose fin small, inserted much behind rayed dorsal fin but anterior to the anal fin. Color in life varies with age; generally delicate gray-silvery to shining golden, with several (~ 5) pale blue or dark brown to deep black longitudinal on side. A narrow dusky spot often presents on the shoulder. The fins glass with dark tips.

Pin-tailed Parrotfinch (Erythrura prasina; Sparrman, 1788)

Tendel Wangdi, Forest Ranger II

Pin-tailed Parrotfinch (Erythrura prasina) is a common species of estrildid finch under passeriformes order of estrildidae family. It is found in Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma and Thailand. And it is recently recorded in southern Palawan province in the Philippines. In Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary it was recorded on 6/7/2018 at 176 m (26°45’27.1”N; 089°56’19.0”E)

Morphologically, the male bird has grassy green back and wings, bright blue mask over face, check and forehead that extending down the throat. It has black lore with black bill and orange-yellow flanks and under tail coverts. Belly is red with bright red rump, upper tail coverts and long central tail feathers. Legs are flesh colored. Female bird has buff and lacks red coloring underside and has pale red rump and tail with shorter tail. Juveniles are similar to female except for dull greenish under parts, dull orange-red tail and olive rump with yellow mandible (Finch Information Centre, 2018).

According to Payne, R. (2018) in Hand Book of the Birds of the world, the bird feeds in open areas on paddy rice, cereals, greens and fruits and inhibits montane and lowland moist forest in bamboo thickets, forest edges, and underbrush. It is also a paddy pest in Southeast Asian countries.

Rusty-tailed Flycatcher (Ficedula ruficauda, Swainson, 1838)

Namgay Dorji, Assistant Forester and Tendel Wangdi, Forest Ranger II

The Rusty-tailed Flycatcher (Ficedula ruficauda: Swainson, 1838) is partially migratory and a small passerine bird mainly found in northern region of Indian subcontinents. The bird is common in northern and western India, Pakistan and Nepal. It is a rare bird in East India, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (Birdlife International, 2016).  The bird has rufous upper tail-covert and tail with flatter forehead and crown feathers are slightly rose forming a crested appearance to nape. Have indistinct eye-ring, plain face with faint supercilium and an orange lower mandible (Grimmett et al., 2011). A male Rusty-tailed flycatcher was first recorded in Phibsoo Range on 15th July at an elevation of 306 m (26°46’31.42″N; 90°11’38.36″E).

Figure 1: New Species location map


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