Sunday 8 December 2013

A new species of Catfish from Minas Gerais State in southeast Brazil.

Armored Catfish, Loricariidae, are large river-dwelling Fish native to Central and South America. They are covered in plate-like bony scales, and have distinctive 'suckermouths' used to attach themselves to a substrate in fast flowwing waters while still breathing. They are the largest group of Catfish, with over 680  described species and a fossil record that dates back to the Miocene. They are known in the aquarium trade as 'plecs'.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 4 July 2013, Gabriel de Souza da Costa e Silva, Fábio Fernandes Roxo and Claudio Oliveira of the Laboratório de Biologia e Genética de Peixes at the  Departamento de Morfologia at the Universidade Estadual Paulista describe a new species of Armored Catfish from the Rio Paraíba do Sul basin in Minas Gerais State in southeast Brazil.

The new species is placed within the genus Pareiorhina, which was first described in 1947 by William Gosline of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the Univetsity of Hawaii, and contained only a single species until 2003, since when three further species have been described. The new species is given the specific name Pareiorhina hyptiorhachis, where 'hyptiorhachis' means 'having a ridge upon its back', referring to a ridge on the back of the Fish that runs from behind the dorsal fin to the top of the tail, and which distinguishes it from other Fish in the same genus.

The species is described entirely from specimens preserved in alcohol in the collections of the Laboratório de Biologia e Genética de Peixes de Botucatu and the Museu de Ciências e Tecnologia at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, collected between 2001 and 2011, but not previously recognized as a separate species.

Pareiorhina hyptiorhachis, specimen collected from the Ribeirão Fernandes, a tributary of Rio Pomba, in June 2011. Da Costa e Silva et al. (2013).

See also Two new species of Armored Catfish from ColumbiaA new species of Armored Catfish from Peru and New species of Armored Catfish from Ecuador.

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