New livebearer described from Trinidad

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A new species of livebearer closely related to the guppy and Endler's livebearer has been described from northeastern Trinidad.

Publishing the description of Poecilia obscura in a recent issue of the journal Zootaxa, Susanne Schories, Manfred Meyer and Manfred Schartl distinguish the new species from the guppy and Endler's livebearer in having the third gonopodial ray with a thick base and 11"15 comb-like spines, a shorter caudal peduncle in females and typically 6 dorsal-fin rays.

The new species is also genetically distinct from the guppy and Endler's livebearer (based on an analysis of about 2200 base pairs of the mitochondrial genome), all three species being the only members of the subgenus Acanthophacelus.

The new species is named after the Latin for hidden (obscurus) because of its status as a cryptic species.

According to the authors, P. obscura is found in fast flowing small rivers and ditches with generally clear waters, but also in downstream habitats.

For more information, see the paper: Schories, S, MK Meyer and M Schartl (2009) Description of Poecilia (Acanthophacelus) obscura n. sp., (Teleostei: Poeciliidae), a new guppy species from western Trinidad, with remarks on P. wingei and the status of the Endler s guppy. Zootaxa 2266, pp. 35"50.