Typhlobleus auriculatus de Pinna & Zuanon

Ear-bearing Pencil Catfish (Typhlobleus auriculatus)  

The Ear-bearing Pencil Catfish was described in 2013; it was found near a marginal sand bank in the lower Rio Xingù in central Brazil.

The species is only about 3 cm long; it can be distinguished from all of its congeners by the absence of an anal fin as well as by the presence of a well-defined lateral pit immediately posterior to the head, representing a modified (ear-like) pseudotympanus connected by a superficial groove to a pit entering the skull. [1]

The type locality is now probably destroyed due to the building of the Belo Monte dam, which will be the world’s third-largest hydroelectric dam when it is finished; this will lead to the extinction not only of this strange kind of fish ….

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References:

[1] M. C. C. de Pinna; J. Zuanon: The genus Typhlobelus: Monopoly and taxonomy, with description of a new species with a unique pseudotympanic structure (Teleostei: Trichomycteridae). Copeia 2013(3): 441-453. 2013

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edited: 19.02.2024