New thorny catfish described from Brazil

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A new species of thorny catfish in the genus Platydoras has been described from northeastern Brazil.

The new species is named Platydoras brachylecis, after its relatively shallow midlateral scutes (Greek brachys= short and lecis=plate) by Nivaldo Piorski, Julio Garavello, Mariangeles Arce and Mark Sabaj Perz in the latest issue of the journal Neotropical Icththyology.

Platydoras brachylecis can be distinguished from congeners in having a combination of: pale yellow to white stripe beginning above orbits, continuing midlaterally on body and onto middle rays of caudal fin; skin in axil of each midlateral thorn without concentration of pigment forming small dark spot; midlateral scutes shallow (depth of 10th scute 8.8"11.9% standard length); and midlateral scutes on caudal peduncle distinctly separated by strip of skin from middorsal and midventral caudal-peduncle plates (modified procurrent caudal-fin rays).

The new species is known from the Mearim, Pindar, Itapecuru and Parnaba river drainages in northeastern Brazil. Studies on the gut content of this species have found larva and adult insectswith lesser amounts of fishes, shrimp and other crustaceans, plant remains and small stones.

The authors recognize three other species of Platydoras: P. armatulus (Paraguay-Paran and portions of Amazon and Orinoco river drainages), P. costatus (Corantijn and Maroni river drainages), and P. hancockii (Negro, Essequibo, Demerara, and upper Orinoco river drainages).

Platydoras armatulus is the species often mistakenly identified as P. costatus in the aquarium trade, while P. hancockii has been previously identified as Amblydoras hancockii.

For more information, see the paper: Piorski, NM, JC Garavello, M Arces H and M Sabaj Perz (2008) Platydoras brachylecis, a new species of thorny catfish (Siluriformes: Doradidae) from northeastern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology 6, pp. 481"494.