Tag Archives: Trichomycteridae

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 ….



[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


edited: 19.02.2024

Rhizosomichthys totae (Miles)

Lake Tota Feeler Fish (Rhizosomichthys totae)  

The Lake Tota Feeler Fish is known from only ten specimens that were caught between 1942 and 1957 in the Lake Tota and is now considered extinct.  

This about 14 cm long, incredibly ugly fish is unique among Pencil Catfishes in possessing remarkable rings of extensive adipose tissues surrounding its body, and giving it a somewhat large intestine-like appearance.  

So far, nothing is known about its biology, the extinction was probably caused on the one hand by the introduction of the Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum)), and on the other hand by the subsidence of the water level due to seismic activities.  



[1] Scott A. Schaefer; Luis Fernández: Redescription of the Pez Graso, Rhizosomichthys totae (Trichomycteridae), of Lago de Tota, Colombia, and Aspects of Cranial Osteology Revealed by Microtomography. Copeia 2009(3): 510-522. 2009  


edited: 21.03.2018