New genus erected for plec

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A new species of loricariid catfish is so different from other relatives that a new genus has been erected for it.

The new plec is a member of the Loricariidae subfamily Hypoptopomatinae, which includes popular aquarium species such as the Otocinclus, and has been placed in a new genus as Otothyropsis marapoama.

Alexandre Ribeiro, Murilo Carvalho and Alex Melo, who described the new species in the latest edition of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology, discovered the new catfish in a headwater stream in the middle Rio Tiete, a river in the upper Rio Parana basin in the south east of Brazil.

Ribeiro, Carvalho and Melo believe that the Otothyropsis genus sits in an evolutionary grouping with Schizolecis, Pseudotothyris and Otothyris.

They say in the paper that the new pleco genus can be told apart from Pseudotothyris and Otothyris through a number of features they found on the swimbladder and the bones around it.

For more details on the discovery see the paper: AC Ribeiro, M Carvalho and ALA Melo (2005) - Description and relationships of Otothyropsis marapoama, a new genus and

species of Hypoptopomatine catfish (Siluriformes: Loricariidae)

from rio Tiete basin, southeastern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 3(4):489-498, 2005.