Monday, November 16, 2015

A new catfish: Curculionichthys coxipone

Another new member of the family Loricariidae. Actually I am introducing only one of three new species that belong to a newly formed genus. Being close relatives within the same genus, eight catfishes showed a number of external differences, such as characteristic elongated mouths, hinting to their separate origin. Following a thorough morphological as well as molecular analysis, a team of researchers suggested that five previously known species along with the three new ones, need a new genus to accommodate for this. 

The name Curculionichthys for the proposed genus was formed by the Latin word for "elongated snout" and the suffix "ichthys" meaning "fishes" in Greek. The species name coxipone refers to the Coxiponé indigenous people who inhabit the margins of Rio Cuiabá, near to the municipality of Cuiabá in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. 

For the experts: The genus Hisonotus was resurrected as a member of the tribe Otothyrini (actually subfamily Otothyrinae). However, phylogenetic studies based on morphological and molecular data showed that Hisonotus is not monophyletic and independent lineages can be identified, such as the group composed of the species H. insperatus, H. luteofrenatus, H. oliveirai, H. paresi and H. piracanjuba, a lineage unrelated to that containing the type species of the genus Hisonotus (H. notatus). Herein, based in molecular and morphological data, a new genus is described to accommodate the lineage mentioned above, into which are also added three new species. This new genus can be distinguished from other genera of Otothyrinae by the following combination of characters: (1) a pair of rostral plates at the tip of the snout; (2) two large pre-nasal plates just posterior to the rostral plates; (3) a supra-opercular plate that receives the laterosensory canal from the compound pterotic before the preopercle; (4) a well developed membrane at anal opening in females; and (5) a V-shaped spinelet. A key to species of Curculionichthys is provided.

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