Two new species of Hypostomus plecs described

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Brazilian ichthyologists have described two new plecs from the Rio Negro belonging to the Hypostomus cochliodon group.

Pedro Hollanda Carvalho, Flávio Lima and Cláudio Zawadzki name the two new plecs Hypostomus kopeyaka and H. weberi in a recent issue of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology.

Hypostomus kopeyaka is distinguished from congeners in the H. cochliodon group in having bicuspid teeth with a rounded mesial cusp that is considerably larger than the outer cusp, a distinctive colour pattern composed of conspicuously horizontally elongated, closely-set black spots on the head and dorsal surfaces of the body, and the presence of a buccal papilla. 

This species is known from rapids, cataract pools, and slow-flowing rivers in the upper Rio Negro drainage. 

The species name comes from its common name among the Tuyuka and Tukano indians (kope yaka), meaning "pleco from the holes", an allusion to the fact that, according to the Indians, the fishes spend most of their time hiding in holes in the river banks.

Hypostomus weberi is distinguished from congeners in the H. cochliodon group in having bicuspid teeth with a rounded mesial cusp that is considerably larger than the outer cusp, a unique colour pattern composed of large, black, rounded spots widely-spaced and sharply defined, on the head, dorsal surface and fins, and the presence of a buccal papilla. 

This species has been collected from rapids and flooded forest in the middle Rio Negro drainage, and is named after plec expert Claude Weber. 

Hypostomus weberi has been imported for the aquarium trade, where it has been known as L167.

For more information, see the paper: Hollanda Carvalho, P, FCT Lima and CH Zawadzki (2010) Two new species of the Hypostomus cochliodon group (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the rio Negro basin in Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology 8, pp. 39–48.