New Black ghost knifefish named

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Scientists have discovered a new species of Black ghost knifefish in the Rio Tocatins basin in Brazil.

The new knifefish was discovered at Rosariano in the mouth of the Rio Maranhao in Goias State and has just been named Apteronotus camposdapazi in a paper in the latest issue of the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

The paper by Carlos David de Santa and Pablo Lehmann says that Apteronotus camposdapazi is a member of the Apternotus albifrons species complex, a group characterised by the presence of two light bands on the caudal peduncle.

Previous studies of Apteronotus albifrons by de Santana have shown that what was considered a single species with a widespread geographic range is actually a complex of species.

Spot the differenceApteronotus camposdapazi can be distinguished from Apteronotus albifrons and other members of the A. albifrons species complex by the presence of prominent white or yellow bands on the chin, the dorsal surface of the head and the middle of the back.

There is also a characteristic light-brown midlateral band on the body.

Like others in the genus, males and females are sexually dimorphic. Female camposdapazi normally have a slightly longer snout length and larger gape than either albifrons or caudimaculosus.

Several members of the complex are believed to have been sold in the aquarium trade and a number of fishkeepers have reported successful spawnings.

According to de Santana and Lehmann, A. albifrons is typically imported for the aquarium trade from Brazil and Venezuela, while the closely related A. caudimaculosus is imported from the Pantanal wetlands in the south of Brazil.

The new species is named after Ricardo Campos da Paz in honour of his work on the fishes of the Gymnotiformes Order.

The Apteronotus genus was erected by Lacepde in 1800 and contains around 19 species. You can see a full list of species in our Fish Database.

For more information on the new knifefish see the paper: de Santana CD and PA Lehmann (2006) - Apteronotus camposdapazi, a new species of black ghost electric knifefish, from the Rio Tocatins basin, Brazil (Gymnotiformes: Apteronotidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 261-266.