New Scleromystax catfish named


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Cory collectors have a new fish to look out for after as a new species of Scleromystax has been described from the coastal rivers of Brazil.

The fish, which is closely related to the corydoradine Scleromystax (formerly Corydoras) barbatus, has been named Scleromystax salmacis in a paper by Marcelo Britto and Roberto Reis in the latest edition of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology.

The catfish was found following a study of specimens of Scleromystax caught in streams around the Ilha de Santa Catarina and Nova Veneza and Rio Mampituba basin in Santa Catarina and the Rio Grande do Sul States of Brazil.

S. salmacis has a colour pattern which is said to be similar to that of S. macropterus but lacks the black spot common at the base of the tail on this species. The spots along the flanks of salmacis are also said to be more irregular than those of macropterus.

Britto and Reis say that a number of morphological and osteological features can also be used to tell it apart from the closely related barbatus and prionotus: "The new species differs from S. barbatus and S. prionotus by its more rounded snout...""The new species differs from S. barbatus and S. prionotus by its more rounded snout.

"The new taxon is also distinguished from its congeners by the presence of a single perforated dorsolateral body plate, similar to the condition found in some Aspidoras species, orientation of the ventral keel of the scapulocoracoid and by the absence of sexually dimorphic features."

The new catfish is the most southerly known Scleromystax recorded to date.

The callichthyid genus Scleromystax was resurrected by taxonomists during a study of Corydoras, Aspidoras and Brochis in 2004.

For more details on the new cory see the paper: Britto, M and RE Reis (2005) - A new Scleromystax species (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) from coastal rivers of Southern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, Volume 3, Number 4.