Extinct plec rediscovered

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An armoured catfish previously believed to be extinct has been re-discovered in Suriname.

The dwarf suckermouth catfish, Harttiella crassicauda, was thought to be extinct after it had not been sighted in over 50 years - but has now been rediscovered in a previously unexplored region of Suriname, on the north eastern coast of South America.

The species - which attains a maximum length of approximately 5cm - had originally been discovered in a small forest creek off the Marowijne river in Suriname, before its proposed extinction.

Scientists from Conservation International rediscovered Harttiella crassicauda during a biodiversity survey in Suriname.

The survey revealed a total of 467 animal species in the region, including 27 of which are found nowhere else on earth, and 24 that are believed to be new to science.

Among these newly discovered species were six new species of fish.

Four species of Eleutherodactylus frogs, twelve species of dung beetle and an ant species were also among the new species to be discovered on the expedition.

Surname boasts some of the most pristine areas of the rainforest in South America, but like much of South America, the region is being threatened by gold mining, deforestation and global warming.

In the hope of conserving the area, and protecting the 467 species recorded, a report compiled by scientists from Conservation International is to be presented to the Suriname government in the hope of gaining legal protection for the region, and an improvement in conservation practices.

Scientist Jan Mol told CI that the newly re-discovered "Hartiella crassicauda should be added as soon as possible to the IUCN Red List of Endangered species to protect it from extinction."