New catfish described from Madagascar


A new species of catfish has been described from northeastern Madagascar in the latest issue of the journal Copeia.

The new catfish, named Gogo atratus by Heok Hee Ng, John Sparks and Paul Loiselle, is known from the lower reaches of the Mananara du Nord River drainage in the northeastern highlands of Madagascar.

Gogo atratus can be distinguished from other members of the genus in having a longer snout (54.8"56.4% head length), faintly mottled dark gray coloration and a combination of the following characters: dorsal spine length 17.7"20.6% standard length, pectoral spine length 16.5"18.9% standard length, length of adipose fin base 23.6"27.8% standard length, interorbital distance 28.9"30.5% head length, eye diameter 13.0"14.3% head length, unicuspid teeth, and straight dorsoposterior margin of the dorsal fin.

The water of the Mananara du Nord River where the fish were caught is clear, with the bottom of the river consisting of either sand or rock.

According to the authors, this species possesses large (about 4.5 mm diameter) eggs that, with the low number found in each female, ...suggests some mechanism of parental care, either custodial care of eggs placed in a cave or nest, or mouthbrooding by one or both parents.

Faecal analysis of the fish revealed its diet to consist of aquatic invertebrates and small shrimp.

For more information, see the paper: Ng, HH, JS Sparks and PV Loiselle (2008) A new species of catfish of the genus Gogo from northeastern Madagascar (Siluriformes: Anchariidae). Copeia 2008, pp. 395"400.