Wolf-fish group revised

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Brazilian scientists have revised the trahiras (wolf fishes) belonging to the Hoplias lacerdae species-group, describing two new species in this group at the same time.

Osvaldo Oyakawa and George Mattox published their results in a recent issue of the journal Neotropical Ichthyology, in which they describe Hoplias austalis and H. curupira in the revision.

Hoplias australis

This species is distinguished from congeners in having five laterosensory pores on the ventral surface of the lower jaw, a rounded anterior profile of the head when viewed from the side, and 40"45 lateral-line scales.

Hoplias australis is found throughout the Uruguay River drainage and is named after its southern distribution (Latin australis=southern).

Hoplias curupira

This species is found in the Amazon and Orinoco river drainages, as well as the coastal rivers of Guyana and Suriname.

Hoplias curupira differs from congeners in having four laterosensory pores on the ventral surface of the lower jaw, dark brown colour of the head and body, a rounded anterior profile of the head when viewed from the side, 34"39 lateral-line scales, and a wider head.

The species is named after the Curupira, a mythical creature of the Brazilian folklore that protects the forest.

The H. larcedae species-group is distinguished from the H. malabaricus species-group in having an almost parallel lower jaw margin when viewed from below, giving it the appearance of a U-shaped margin (vs. sharply converging margins giving a V-shaped margin).

Valid species

The authors recognize five valid species in the group, the other three being H. lacerdae from the Ribeira de Iguape and Uruguay river drinages, H. intermedius from the Sao Francisco, upper Parana and Doce river drainages, and H. brasiliensis from rivers of the Atlantic Coastal drainage from the Paraguacu to the Jequitinhonha.

For more information, see the paper: Oyakawa, OT and GMT Maddox (2009) Revision of the Neotropical trahiras of the Hoplias lacerdae species-group (Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Erythrinidae) with descriptions of two new species. Neotropical Ichthyology 7, pp. 117"140.