Scientists have described a new genus of catfishes from Madagascar which contains two new tropical fish species.
Heok Hee Ng of the Fish Division in the Museum of Zoology at the University of Michigan, and John Sparks of the Department of Ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History, named the new catfish genus Gogo in a paper in the latest issue of the ichthyological systematics journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.
Ng and Sparks also described two new species in the genus, Gogo arcuatus and Gogo ornatus, as well as a third species, Ancharius griseus, which lies in a closely related genus.
The new genus, Gogo, is distinguished from Ancharius through differences in the number of rays in the anal fin, the morphology of the barbels and the shape of the snout and the position of the mouth on the fishes' head.
The three new catfishes are members of the enigmatic catfish family Anchariidae and have feathered barbels, rather like those of the mochokid Synodontis, which come from "nearby" Africa.
The catfish family, which is endemic to Madagascar, is poorly studied and its exact phylogenetic position isn't completely understood at the moment. Some experts believe the anchariids may be members of the Mochokidae, others believe they are more closely related to the Ariidae, while others have placed the fishes in a family of their own.
Ng and Sparks also revise the family in this paper, and cover all five known species and explain how to tell them apart.
The paper represents the hundredth scientific paper published by Heok Hee Ng who is fast-becoming one of the world's most prolific publishers of papers on the systematics of catfishes.
For more details see the paper: Ng, HH and J. Sparks (2005) - Revision of the endemic Malagasy catfish family Anchariidae(Teleostei: Siluriformes), with descriptions of a new genus and three new species. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 303-323, 14 fi gs., 3 tabs., December 2005.