New spiny dwarf catfish described

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Brazilian scientists have described a new species of spiny dwarf catfish from the Madeira River drainage in the latest issue of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology.

The new species was named Scoloplax baskini after American ichthyologist Jonathan Baskin.

Marcelo Rocha, Renildo de Oliveira and Lcia Py-Daniel, who described the Scoloplax species, distinguish it from the other four congeners (S. dicra, S. distolothrix, S. dolicholophia and S. empousa) in having the following unique features: ventral midline plates between the anus and caudal peduncle with two longitudinal parallel rows of odontodes not covered by skin, all rays of the pectoral and pelvic fins unbranched, odontodes both in the abdominal area between the pelvic fins and on the first and second pelvic-fin rays in larger specimens, and mesethmoid with a thickened triangular anterior process.

Scoloplax baskini was found among leaf litter in small clearwater tributaries of the middle part of Aripuan River, a right-bank tributary of the middle Madeira River (itself part of the Amazon River drainage).

For more information, see the paper: Rocha, MS, RR de Oliveira and LHR Py-Daniel (2008) Scoloplax baskini: a new spiny dwarf catfish from rio Aripuan, Amazonas, Brazil (Loricarioidei: Scoloplacidae). Neotropical Ichthyology 6, pp. 323"328.