The highly sought after Royal tiger shovelnose catfish now has a new name.
In a paper in the latest issue of the journal Copeia, Lundberg and Akama place the genus Merodontotus in synonymy with Brachyplatystoma.
The genus Merodontotus, which includes a single species, M. tigrinus, is therefore now part of Brachyplatystoma according to these researchers. This makes the new name for the catfish Brachyplatystoma tigrinum.
Lundberg and Akama say: \"The monotypic genera Goslinia and Merodontotus are placed in synonymy with Brachyplatystoma characterized here by two synapomorphies: suspensorium greatly expanded mediodorsally, forming a massive plate approaching parasphenoid; juveniles with greatly elongated caudal-fin filaments developed from single outermost, unbranched principal rays.\"
The catfish is one of the most expensive and sought after aquarium catfishes and sells for around 250-500 depending on size and availability.
For more details see the paper: Lundberg and Akama (2005) - Brachyplatystoma capapretum: a New Species of Goliath Catfish from the Amazon Basin, with a Reclassification of Allied Catfishes (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae). Copeia: Vol. 2005, No. 3, pp. 492-516.