New African suckermouth placed in new genus

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American scientists have described a new genus and species of suckermouth mochokid catfish from rivers in Gabon.

The new catfish, named Atopodontus adriaensi, is described in the most recent issue of the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia by John Friel and Thomas Vigliotta of Cornell University.

Atopodontus adriaensi is distinguished from other suckermouth mochokid catfishes by characters in the internal and external anatomy, including robust mandibular teeth arranged in transverse rows that are approximately 66% of the width of the paired premaxillary tooth patches, and the presence of an anteriorly directed cavity located dorsal to the lower lip and ventral to the oral cavity.

The genus is named after its unusual dentition (from the Greek atopos, meaning strange and odontos, meaning tooth), while the species is named after Dominique Adriaens, a Belgian ichthyologist who first brought the existence of the fish to the authors' attention.

Atopodontus adriaensi is known from the Ivindo, Okano, Ngouni, and Nyanga Rivers of Gabon.

For more information, see the paper: Friel, JP and TR Vigliotta (2008) Atopodontus adriaensi, a new genus and species of African suckermouth catfish from the Ogoou and Nyanga River systems of Gabon (Siluriformes: Mochokidae). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 157, pp. 13"23.