Scientists find new Parodon

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Ichthyologists working in south eastern Brazil have described a new species of Parodontid fish.

The new species was discovered by Leonardo Ingenito and Paulo Buckup from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and has recently been named Parodon moreirai in a paper in the systematics journal Copeia.

The Flying-fox-shaped characin was found in streams in the headwaters of the Rio Sapucai basin, a tributary of the Rio Grande basin, on the upper Rio Parana system, in the south west of Serra da Mantiqueira, in south eastern Brazil.

Interestingly, some adult representatives of this this new discovery lacks dentary teeth, which are often used as the main characteristic for distinguishing members of the Parodon genus with their relatives in the genus Apareiodon.

Ingenito and Buckup say that this demonstrates the need to undertake a closer look at the Parodontidae through a phylogenetic analysis so they can work out exactly how the different species are interrelated.

Parodon moreirai can be told apart from other parodontids by its colour and morphology, and through the differences in its chromosomes.

The Parodontidae is a member of the Order Characiformes and is found through much of northern South America, being most common in the Amazon basin.

Parodon are poorly known by fishkeepers but some species have entered the trade in the past few years.

For more details on the new Parodon see the paper: Ingenito, LFS and PA Buckup (2005) - A New Species of Parodon from the Serra da Mantiqueira, Brazil (Teleostei: Characiformes: Parodontidae). Copeia: Vol. 2005, No. 4, pp. 765"771.