New knifefish discovered in the Pantanal

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A new species of knifefish has been discovered in the Pantanal in Brazil.

The knifefish, which has been named Gymnotus pantanal, was discovered in the Pantanal Matogrossense and has just been described by a team of International scientists from Brazil and the USA.

The fish lives in the banks of blackwater rivers and among floating plants and the roots of grasses in the Pantanal, a massive flooded lowland in Brazil, which is one of the world's largest wetlands and a hotbed for fish biodiversity.

Like many of the gymnotid knifefishes, these fishes are cryptically patterned and hard to identify.

The authors state that the new species is most similar in appearance to G. anguillaris, as it shares the same slender, elongated body, long body cavity and short head.

However, the new fish has its eyes closer together than anguillaris, and its pectorals are longer with more fin rays.

For more details on the new knifefish see the paper: Fernandes, FMC., Albert, JS., Lopes, CE., Crampton, WGR., Almeida-Toledo, LF. (2005) - A new Gymnotus (Teleostei: Gymnotiformes: Gymnotidae) from Pantanal Matogrossense of Brazil and adjacent drainages: continued documentation of a cryptic fauna. Zootaxa 933: 1-14.