New Simpsonichthys killifish

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Brazilian scientists have described a new species of seasonal killifish from the swamps of the upper So Francisco River drainage in central Brazil.

The new species, named Simpsonichthys punctulatus after the rows of blue dots on the flanks of the males (from the Latin punctum, meaning a small spot), is described in a paper by Wilson Costa and Gilberto Brasil published in the latest issue of the journal Vertebrate Zoology.

Simpsonichthys punctulatus can be distinguished from other members of the genus in having longitudinal rows of light blue dots on the flank in males, a long filamentous ray on the tip of the dorsal fin in males, reaching the posterior portion of the caudal fin, pelvic fin present, second pharyngobranchial teeth absent, ventral process of posttemporal short, 18"19 dorsal-fin rays in males and 14"15 in females, five alternating bright blue and pink to red bars on the side of the head in males, pink pectoral fin with blue spots in males, and no black spots on the dorsal fin in males.

The new species was collected in temporary canals draining the floodplains of the Bezerra River, part of the upper Paracatu River drainage in the So Francisco River basin.

Simpsonichthys punctulatus belongs to a monophyletic subgroup (the eastern clade) endemic to the area between the upper tributaries of the western So Francisco River drainage and the upper tributaries of the Parnaiba River drainage, in altitudes of 900"1000 m above sea level.

Other species in this subgroup include S. boitonei, S. santanae and S. zonatus.

For more information, see the paper: Costa, WJEM and GC Brasil (2007) Simpsonichthys punctulatus n. sp. " a new seasonal killifish (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) from the upper rio So Francisco basin, central Brazil. Vertebrate Zoology 57, 57"61.