Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A new characid: Moenkhausia lineomaculata

This family of freshwater fish inhabit a wide range and a variety of habitats. They originate in the Americas, ranging from southwestern Texas and Mexico through Central and South America. Many of these fish live in rivers, but, for example, the blind cave tetra even inhabits caves.

The relationships of many fish in this family are poorly known. 

The name of the new species “lineomaculata” comes from the Latin lineo meaning line, and maculata
meaning spotted, in allusion to a series of aligned spots characteristic of the new species. It was found in Rio Juruena, Brazil.

For the experts: Moenkhausia lineomaculata, new species, is described herein from the upper rio Juruena, upper rio Tapaj√≥s basin. The new species seems to be part of a monophyletic group formed by M. cosmops, M. cotinho, M. diktyota, M. forestii, M. oligolepis, M. sanctaefilomenae, and M. pyrophthalma, the Moenkhausia oligolepis/M. sanctaefilomenae complex, by sharing a reticulated color pattern on body and the presence of a light area preceding a wide, dark caudal-peduncle blotch. The new species is distinguished from these species, except M. cotinho, by the presence of longitudinal series of dark dots on body, and from M. cotinho by the humeral blotch evenly pigmented along its length and by having the dark line along horizontal septum starting approximately at the vertical through dorsal-fin origin. The new species presents intraspecific variation in lateral-line scales perforation, a feature often present in species of the aforementioned group. 

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