New Chaetostoma plec

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A new species of bulldog plec has been found in central Peru.

The loricariid catfish has been named Chaetostoma changae in a paper in Copeia, the journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

The bulldog plec was collected by the Catherwood Foundation Peruvian Amazon Expedition in the upper Rio Huallaga in central Peru, at an altitude of around 650m/2132 feet above sea level.

The Rio Huallaga, which is also known as the Guallaga and Rio de los Motilones, joins the Rio Amazonas to the west of the Ucayali.

The river is filled with gorges and white water torrents, making it hard to navigate, and much of it is still relatively unexplored ichthyologically.

Chaetostoma changae has very distinctive patterning, so it's fairly easy to tell apart from the other members of the genus.

The dorsal fin has conspicuous bands on it, which aren't seen in any other known species, and also has a number of morphological features which separate it from others in the genus.

Salcedo, who described the new catfish says that the fish also has the following unique combination of characters: "presence of fleshy excrescence on posterior tip of supraoccipital, typically nine branched dorsal-fin rays, and evertible cheek plates with two to four hypertrophied odontodes."

You can find out more about the bulldog or rubbernose plecs in Julian Dignall's article on the fishes, which has recently been published on the Practical Fishkeeping website.

For more information see the paper: Salcedo, NJ, 2006. New species of Chaetostoma (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from central Peru. Copeia 2006: 60-67.