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Discovery of Thorny Catfish in Brazil

by the Fish Site Editor
21 November 2008, at 12:00am

BRAZIL - A new species of thorny catfish in the genus Platydoras has been described from northeastern Brazil.

The new species is named Platydoras brachylecis, after its relatively shallow midlateral scutes (Greek brachys= short and lecis=plate) by Nivaldo Piorski, Julio Garavello, Mariangeles Arce and Mark Sabaj Peréz in the latest issue of the journal Neotropical Icththyology.

Platydoras brachylecis can be distinguished from congeners in having a combination of: pale yellow to white stripe beginning above orbits, continuing midlaterally on body and onto middle rays of caudal fin; skin in axil of each midlateral thorn without concentration of pigment forming small dark spot; midlateral scutes shallow (depth of 10th scute 8.8–11.9% standard length); and midlateral scutes on caudal peduncle distinctly separated by strip of skin from middorsal and midventral caudal-peduncle plates (modified procurrent caudal-fin rays).

The new species is known from the Mearim, Pindaré, Itapecuru and Parnaíba river drainages in northeastern Brazil. Studies on the gut content of this species have found “…larva and adult insects…with lesser amounts of fishes, shrimp and other crustaceans, plant remains and small stones.”

the Fish Site Editor