A new species of miniature plec has been described by scientists from Brazil in a recent issue of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology.
The new species from the Atlantic coastal drainages of Brazil is named Parotocinclus arandai by Luisa Sarmento-Soares, Pablo Lehmann and Ronaldo Martins-Pinheiro. Parotocinclus arandai is distinguished from all other congeners of the Guyana Shield, Amazonas and Orinoco basin by the combination of: the absence of a triangular patch of dark pigmentation at the anterior dorsal-fin base; the absence of accessory teeth on the upper and lower jaws; unpigmented ventral surfaces of the pectoral and pelvic fins; the rostral plate not exposed ventrally; the presence of a tuft of hypertrophied odontodes on the supraoccipital; and by the extensively naked abdomen in adults, with a mosaic of few rounded platelets of irregular size and distributed over the preanal region.
Other features useful for distinguishing the new species are: medial and lateral exposure of the pectoral girdle; ten plates between the anal and caudal fins; body depth 16.1"18.6% standard length; eye diameter 14.8"19.3% head length; all paired ribs associated with connective tissues of vertebrae; and the presence of 2"4 abdominal lateral plates.
Parotocinclus arandai is known from the Jucurucu and upper Buranhem river drainages, where it was collected from clear, shallow waters, approximately 0.3 m in depth, in moderate flowing sections of the rivers, with a sandy or gravel bottom. The new species is named after ichthyologist Arion Tulio Aranda.
For more information, see the paper: Sarmento-Soares, LM, P Lehmann A and RF Martins-Pinheiro (2009) Parotocinclus arandai, a new species of hypoptopomatine catfish (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the upper rios Jucurucu and Buranhem, States of Bahia and Minas Gerais, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology 7, pp. 191"198.