The stunning Zebra otocinclus has finally been described by scientists.
The uniquely patterned dwarf suckermouth catfish, which is a member of the Otocinclus genus in the Hypoptopomatinae subfamily, has been named O. cocama by famous catfish taxonomist Roberto Reis.
The Zebra otocinclus has been on sale in the aquarium trade for a couple of years and is found in the Rio Ucayali in northern Peru.
Besides the unique colour pattern, Reis says that O. cocama can also be told apart from other members of the Otocinclus genus by its complete lateral line - a feature unseen in other Otocinclus species.
He believes that the new fish is a member of the clade including O. huaorani, O. bororo, O. mariae and O. mura.
The genus includes 15 other valid species including: O. affinis, bororo, caxarari, flexilis, gibbosus, hasemani, hoppei, huaorani, macrospilus, mariae, mura, tapirape, vestitus, vittatus and xakriaba, as well as a number of others waiting to be described.
For more details see the paper: Reis, RE, 2004. Otocinclus cocama, a new uniquely colored loricariid catfish from Peru (Teleostei: Siluriformes), with comments on the impact of taxonomic revisions to the discovery of new taxa. Neotropical Ichthyology, 2: 109-116.