New species of whiptail plec described

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A new species of whiptail plec has been described from the lower Xingu River drainage by ichthyologists Matt Thomas and Mark Sabaj Pérez.

A new species of whiptail plec has been described from the lower Xingu River drainage by ichthyologists Matt Thomas and Mark Sabaj Pérez.   The new species is named Loricaria birindellii in the latest issue of the journal Copeia after Brazilian ichthyologist José Birindelli for helming the expedition that led to its discovery.  

Loricaria birindellii is distinguished from congeners in having a combination of an elongate dorsal-fin spine (36.0% standard length) that is supported throughout most of its length by the first branched ray, and an inconspicuous post-orbital notch with minimum orbital diameter 95.4–97.2% of maximum orbital diameter.

It is further distinguished from similar and geographically proximate species, L. lata and L. simillima, by having a more slender body, particularly head width (13.9–14.9% standard length vs. 15.2–19.4% in L. simillima and 16.4–20.1% in L. lata).

According to the authors, the new species was caught downstream of a cataract in clear water approximately one to two metres deep and with a moderate current.  

The substrate was predominantly sand with patches of bedrock and large lateritic boulders.

For more information, see the paper: Thomas, MR and MH Sabaj Pérez (2010) A new species of whiptail catfish, genus Loricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), from the Rio Curuá (Xingu basin), Brazil. Copeia 2010, pp. 274–283.