Miniature Acestridium loricariid described

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Brazilian scientists have described a new species of miniature loricariid catfish from the eastern Amazon River drainage.

The new species is named Acestridium triplax by Mnica Rodriguez and Roberto Reis in the latest issue of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology.

Acestridium triplax can be distinguished from other members of the genus in having a single series of middle abdominal plates between the lateral abdominal plates (all other Acestridium lack the middle abdominal plates).

It most closely resembles A. dichromum, but further differs from it in having a small and rounded spatulate projection on the snout tip, a thick pectoral-fin spine slightly serrated or without serrae, small posteriormost lateral abdominal plate small, and an approximately rectangular preanal plate with short lateral projections.

The name of the new species comes from the Greek tri, meaning three, and plax, meaning plate, in reference to the three series of abdominal plaes unique to it.

Acestridium triplax is knonw from the lower Tapajs River drainage, where they have been caught in small forest creeks that are usually shallow (0.3"1.0 m deep, 5"10 m wide), with sandy bottom, clear or slightly black water, moderate water current, and dense aquatic and marginal vegetation.

For more information, see the paper: Rodriguez, MS and RE Reis (2007) A new species of Acestridium Haseman, 1911 (Loricariidae: Hypoptopomatinae) from the Eastern Amazon basin, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology 5, pp. 429"434.