New trichomycterid catfish found

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A new species of trichomycterid catfish from the Ituglanis genus has been described from Bahia State in Brazil.

Ituglanis cahyensis was found in the Rio Palmares, a tributary of the Rio Cahy in south east Bahia State in Brazil and has just been described in a paper in the latest issue of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology.

The fish reaches a size of around 4-5cm and vaguely resembles a mottled brown Kuhli loach with tiny eyes and a bunch of long barbels around the mouth.

It was caught in a small brown water stream in a deforested area with moderate marginal vegetation. Stomach analyses of the new species show that the fish eat insect larvae, nymphs and organic matter.

The new catfish species is a member of the Trichomycteridae subfamily Trichomycterinae, which is a sister group to the blood-sucking or hematophagous members of the Vandelliinae subfamily.

The authors provide the following basic diagnosis for identifying Ituglanis cahyensis: "Ituglanis cahyensis is distinguished from all other congeners through a combination of characters, as the

supraorbital laterosensory canal branch with pores s3 and s6 present, the low count of branched pectoral fin rays, and low

number of paired ribs. It is further distinguished in proportional measurements, such as elongate nasal, maxillary, and rictal

barbels, and small eye diameter."

The Ituglanis genus was erected by Costa and Bockmann in 1993 to include nine species formally placed in the Trichomycterus genus, which contains over 112 species. The new discovery brings the total number of Ituglanis in the genus to around 18.

For more information see the paper: Sarmento-Soares LM, Martins-Pinheiro RF, Aranda AT and CC Chamon (2006) - Ituglanis cahyensis, a new catfish from Bahia, Brazil (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Neotropical Ichthyology, 4(3): 309-318, 2006.