A new species of catfish discovered in Colombia is so different to previously known species that it has been placed in a new genus by itself.
The catfish, which has just been named Cruciglanis pacifici in a paper in the latest issue of journal Neotropical Ichthyology, was discovered in the Rio Dagua and Rio Anchicaya on Colombia's Pacific slope and is a member of the family Pseudopimelodidae.
Armando Ortego-Lara and Pablo Lehmann who described the new species say that Cruciglanis pacifici has a very distinctive crucifix-shaped second basibranchial - a median bone at the base of the gill arch below the hypobranchials - along with a number of other characters that put it in a distinct group among the pseudopimelodid catfishes:
"Ectopterygoid bone shaped as an inverted comma, with distal end narrow and directed medially towards the mesopterygoid; anterior fontanel elongated, reaching a transverse line at sensory canal opening of the sphenotic bone; caudal fin emarginated with rounded edges and ventral lobe more developed than dorsal lobe; caudal fin with a dark spot from its base and fused with a peduncular spot, covering the anterior three quarters of its length, distal rim totally hyaline."
For more information on the new catfish see the paper: Ortego-Lara A and P Lehmann (2006) - Cruciglanis, a new genus of Pseudopimelodid catfish (Ostariophysi: Siluriformes) with a description of a new species from the Colombian Pacific coast. Neotropical Ichthyology, 4(2): 147-156.