Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A new species of Armoured Catfish from the Rio Doce Basin in Minas Gerais State, Brazil.

Armoured Catfish (Loricariidae) are distinctive Catfish (Siluriformes) with bodies covered in bony armoured plates found only in South America. They are a diverse group, with a high number of species, many of which have very limited distributions, and several new species are described every year. They are popular in the aquarium trade, where they are known as ‘Plecs’.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 15 September 2014, Fábio Roxo and Gabriel Silva of the Laboratório de Biologia e Genéticav de Peixes at the Departamento de Morfologia at the Universidade Estadual Paulista, Cláudio Zawadzki of the Núcleo de Pesquisasem Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura at the Departamento de Biologia at the Universidade Estadual deMaringá and Claudio Oliveira, also of the Laboratório de Biologia e Genéticav de Peixes, describe a new species of Armoured Catfish from the Rio Doce Basin in Minas Gerais State, Brazil.

The new species is placed in the genus Neoplecostomus, and given the specific name doceensis, meaning ‘from Doce’.Neoplecostomusdoceensis reaches slightly over 100 mm in length. It is brownish when preserved in alcohol, but as the species is described entirely from museum specimens, the original colour is unknown. It is distinguished from other members of the same genus by two fleshy flaps between the lower jaws. This is present in older males of some other species, but is found in all specimens of Neoplecostomusdoceensis.

Neoplecostomusdoceensis, male specimen, 101.1 mm long, from the affluent of Rio Gualaxo do Norte, Rio Doce Basin, municipality of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Roxo et al. (2014).

Neoplecostomusdoceensis, same specimen as above, arrow showing the developed papillae between dentaries. Roxoet al. (2014).

Neoplecostomusdoceensis is described from specimens collected from the Rio Gualaxo do Norte, Rio Gualaxo do Sul, Rio José Pedro, Rio Piranga, Rio Manhuaçu, Rio Suaçuí Pequeno and Rio Xopotó, all within the Rio Doce Basin in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. All were in areas of clear water with rocky or sandy bottoms, and often rocky outcrops forming small waterfalls. The Rio Doce Basin is a drainage system covering 83 400 km² in Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo states in southeastern Brazil.

Map showing the type localitieswhereNeoplecostomusdoceensiswas collected in the Rio Doce Basin (green highlighted drainages).

Neoplecostomusdoceensis is most closely related to other members if the same genus from streams in the Rio Grande Basin, which drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Roxoet al. suggest that the species was probably separated from its closest relatives by uplift in the Serra do Espinhaço about 3.5 million years ago, due to the reactivation of ancient faults in the area.

See also…

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/a-new-species-of-armored-catfish-from.html A new species of Armored Catfish from Pará State, Brazil.                                            Armored Catfish, Loricariidae, are large river-dwelling Fish native to Central and South America. They are...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/a-new-species-of-catfish-from-minas.html  A new species of Catfish from Minas Gerais State in southeast Brazil.                         Armored Catfish, Loricariidae, are large river-dwelling...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/two-new-species-of-armored-catfish-from.html Two new species of Armored Catfish from Columbia.                                                Armored Catfish, Loricariidae, are large river-dwelling Fish native to Central and South America. They are...
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