New species of Pimelodus catfish described

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Brazilian ichthyologists have described a new species of spotted Pimelodus catfish from the Ribeira de Iguape River drainage in southern Brazil.

The description of Pimelodus multicratifer by Frank Ribeiro, Carlos de Lucena and Osvaldo Oyakawa is published in the most recent issue of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology.

The new species is distinguished from congeners in having 26–30 gill rakers on the first gill arch, a combination of three to six rows of dark spots on the sides of the body and several small dark spots irregularly scattered on the dorsal surface of the head and sometimes on the dorsal and caudal fins, ridged lips, and the maxillary barbels reaching between the tip of the pelvic fin and the tip of the middle caudal-fin rays. 

It also differs from congeners with a similar colour pattern in measurements about the head, caudal peduncle and fins.

The new catfish typically inhabits large rivers that range from clear water running over rocks at higher elevations, to turbid or black water over sand at lower elevations.  The species is named after its relatively high number of gill rakers (Latin multi=many, cratis=rake and fere=to bear).

For more information, see the paper: Ribeiro, FRV, CAS de Lucena and OT Oyakawa (2011) A new species of Pimelodus La Cépède, 1803 (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) from rio Ribeira de Iguape basin, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology 9, pp. 127–134.