Two new species of darter tetra described

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Brazilian scientists have described two new species of darter tetra from eastern Brazil.

The two new species are named Characidium nupelia and C. xavante by Weferson da Graa, Carla Pavanelli, and Paulo Buckup in the most recent issue of the journal Copeia.

Characidium nupelia This species is distinguished from other members of the genus in having a combination of: 12"18 dark vertical bars on the body, with each bar having the width of a scale, 12 scales around the caudal peduncle, interorbital distance 20.5"28.6% head length, caudal peduncle depth 46.2"57.8% head length, the absence of an adipose fin, incomplete lateral line, and a dark blotch on the caudal peduncle. Characidium nupelia is known from the upper Paraguay River drainage and is named in recognition of the role of the Nuplia (Ncleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aqicultura) in the survey and ecological research of the fish fauna from the Manso Reservoir region, which led to the discovery of this new species.

Picture kindly supplied by Weferson da Graa

Characidium xavante Characidium xavante is distinguished from other members of the genus in having a combination of: 12"18 dark vertical bars on the body, with each bar having the width of a scale, 10 scales around the caudal peduncle, interorbital distance 30.1"38.0% head length, caudal peduncle depth 35.4"44.9% head length, the absence of an adipose fin, incomplete lateral line, and a dark blotch on the caudal peduncle. The new species is known from the upper Xingu River drainage, and is named after its type locality (Xavante is a name of an indigenous Brazilian ethnic group, inhabiting the region where the type locality is found, with the stream at the type locality being named after the ethnic group).

Picture kindly supplied by Leandro Sousa and Jose L. Birindelli

For more information, see the paper: da Graa, WJ, CS Pavanelli and PA Buckup (2008) Two new species of Characidium (Characiformes: Crenuchidae) from Paraguay and Xingu river basins, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Copeia 2008, pp. 326"332.