New electric fish found in Amazon

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A new species of electric fish has been found in the lowland Amazon, according to a new paper published in this month's issue of the ichthyological journal Copeia.

The new fish, which has been named Sternopygus branco, was found on the confluence of the Rio Japura and the Rio Negro, and was described by William Crampton, Kevin Hulen and James Albert of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Department of Zoology at the University of Florida.

S. branco lives predominantly in the main river channel and side channels and hasn't been found in flooded forest or in terra firme streams.

Like other members of the gymnotiform order, this sternopygid is equipped with an electrical organ, and its properties have been used as part of the description of the species. Interestingly, S. branco has a very low repetition rate in its electrical organ discharge (EOD) at just 24-35 Hz, while its relatives typically have EODs around the 40-300 Hz mark.

Crampton, GR., Hulen, KG. and JS. Albert (2004) - Sternopygus branco: A new species of neotropical electric fish (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) from the lowland Amazon basin, with descriptions of osteology, ecology and electric organ discharges. Copeia, Vol. 2004, No. 2, pp. 245-259.