New ghost knifefish found in Colombia

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Scientists have found a new species of knifefish in the trans-Andean waters of Colombia.

The new ghost knifefish is brown in colour and has been named Apteronotus milesi in a paper by de Santana and Maldononado-Ocampo in the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

The fish was discovered in the Quebrada Cristales, Rio Chanco and Rio La Vieja tributaries of the upper Rio Cauca basin in Colombia.

A. milesi has a brown body with small black spots scattered across it, along with a smaller number of rays in the anal fin, compared to other Apteronotus species from the region.

Like many other knifefishes, males and females also look strikingly different at sexual maturity.

Maldonado-Ocampo and de Santana also provide a new key to the other members of the Apteronotidae family found in the Magdalena-Cauca basin to help scientists identify other species of ghost knifefish.

The new species brings the total number of apteronotids to around 46, with eight of these being found in the trans-Andean region where they make up 17% of the total family diversity.

For more details on the new tropical fish species see the paper: de Santana, SD and JA Maldonado-Ocampo (2005) - Apteronotus milesi, a new species of ghost knifefish (Gymnotiformes: Apteronotidae) from the Cauca River, with a key to apteronotids from the Rio Magdalena-Cauca basin, Colombia. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. Vol. 16. No. 3. pp. 223-230.