New catfish found in southern China


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A new species of bagrid catfish has been discovered in the Pearl River in southern China.

The fish, which has just been named Pseudobagrus gracilis by a team of Chinese scientists in the systematics journal Zootaxa, was discovered in the Zhujiang or Pearl River basin of southern China.

The new species was found late last year in a number of rivers which act as tributaries to the Zhujiang, the largest catchment basin in southern China. It's believed to be endemic to the Zhujiang catchment.

P. gracilis was found in clear, fast flowing rocky waters in medium to large rivers in lowland areas of the Zhujiang catchment. Like many catfishes from such habitats, the species is thought to be nocturnal and little is known about its ecology or biology.

Pseudobagrus catfishes are generally quite similar in appearance and can be tricky to tell apart. The new species is most similar to ussuriensis and adiposalis but has a larger, more elliptical eye, and a lower body and caudal peduncle depth.

The pectoral spines also have fewer serrae (serrations) on the posterior edge, with 10-11 being the norm in gracilis, compared to 12-14 in ussuriensis or 14 in adiposalis.

Li, J., Chen, X. and BPL. Chan. (2005) - A new species of Pseudobagrus (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Bagridae)

from southern China. Zootaxa 1067: 49-57 (2005)