New Trichomycterus catfish


A new species of Trichomycterus catfish has been described from the Peruvian Andes.

Publishing their results in a recent issue of the journal Zootaxa, Luis Fernndez and Roberto Chuquihuaman name Trichomycterus megantoni after the type locality (Santuario Nacional Machguenga Megantoni).

The new species can be distinguished from other members of the genus in having a thickened interopercle with prominent fleshy lobes along its lateral margin, and a reduced fronto-supraoccipital foramen.

It further differs from others by a combination of: tip of the pelvic fin not reaching the anus when depressed, rectangular premaxillae, first dorsal-fin pterygiophore inserted at or posterior to vertebra 19"21, 17 pairs of ribs on each side, 37"40 vertebrae, presence of a supraorbital canal with pore 3, an outer tooth row with conical teeth, head muscles not hypertrophied, and first pectoral-fin ray elongated to a short, thin filament.

The new species was collected mountain rivers and streams that were generally 0.5"12 m wide and 0.3"1.5 m deep, with clear waters running over sandy, and rock-pebble substrates, at elevations of approximately 1,326"2,200 m.

The water temperature ranged between 12"16C, and the speeds of the currents were moderate during the dry season....

The authors also acknowledge that Trichomycterus is a non-monophyletic assemblage of more than 100 species, and that future studies are almost certain to change the taxonomy of the group.

For more information, see the paper: Fernndez, L and RQ Chuquihuaman (2007) A new species of Trichomycterus (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) from the Andean Cordillera of Per, with comments on relationships within the genus. Zootaxa 1545, 49"57.