Tiny new catfish species found in Rio Paraiba do Sul basin, Brazil

Jul 09, 2013
This image shows the newly discovered catfish Pareiorhina hyptiorhachis. Credit: Gabriel de Souza da Costa e Silva

Scientists discovered a tiny new species of catfish in the waters of Rio Rio Paraíba do Sul basin, Brazil. The new species Pareiorhina hyptiorhachis belongs to a genus of armored catfishes native to South America where and found only in Brazil. These peculiar fish get their name from their strange elongated mouth barbels that remind of cat's whiskers. The new species is distinguished from others species of the genus by the presence of a conspicuous ridge on the trunk posterior to the dorsal fin (postdorsal ridge). The description of the diminutive new species was published in the open access journal Zookeys.

Pareiorhina hyptiorhachis is only about 3-3.5 cm in length, making one of the smallest representatives of the catfish order. Although the new species is only the size of a decorative fish, there are even smaller representatives in the group. Some of the smallest species of Aspredinidae and Trichomycteridae for example reach at only 1 cm in total.

On the other side of the scale is the wels catfish whose representatives can reach more than 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length and sometimes exceeded 100 kilograms (220 lb). This fish has been also recorded to feed on frogs, rats, mice and even some aquatic birds. Many of the large catfish species are farmed or fished for food thus being of significant scientific importance. Small representatives, on the other hand, are often used as aquarium decorative fish.

Explore further: Big city life: New leafhopper species found on a threatened grass in New Jersey

More information: Silva GSC, Roxo FF, Oliveira C (2013) Pareiorhina hyptiorhachis, a new catfish species from Rio Paraíba do Sul basin, southeastern Brazil (Siluriformes, Loricariidae). ZooKeys 315: 65. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.315.5307

Related Stories

New blind catfish and eel found in India

Dec 14, 2012

(Phys.org)—A research team in the southern Indian state of Kerala has discovered a new species of blind catfish living in a deep well. The newly discovered fish was named Horaglanis abdulkalami in honor ...

Recommended for you

Study shows grey squirrels are quick learners

8 hours ago

They may be viewed by some as an invasive species or a commonplace pest of public parks, but a new study from the University of Exeter has shown that grey squirrels are actually quick learners capable of ...

Age and fertility in social insects

12 hours ago

A new research unit coordinated at the University of Freiburg tackles the question of why the otherwise usual trade-off between fecundity and lifespan in multicellular organisms is not present in social insects ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.