Tuesday, August 7, 2012

[Ichthyology • 2005] Hemiancistrus guahiborum • a new suckermouth armored catfish (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Southern Venezuela

Hemiancistrus guahiborum 
Werneke, Armbruster, Lujan & Taphorn, 2005

Hemiancistrus guahiborum, new species, is described from the Orinoco River drainage of Venezuela. Hemiancistrus guahiborum can be separated from all other Hemiancistrus and all Peckoltia except P. braueri and P. cavatica by having an orange edge to the dorsal and caudal fins. Hemiancistrus guahiborum can be separated from Peckoltia cavatica and P. braueri by having the dorsal fin with separated light spots or uniformly colored (vs. with dark spots forming bands) and the sides either solidly colored or with tan blotches (vs. with dark dorsal saddles).

Key words: Ancistrini, Hypostominae, South America, Systematics.

Etymology. Named for the Guahibo, a tribe of people inhabiting parts of southern Venezuela and western Colombia for the help some members of the tribe provided in collecting specimens in the upper río Ventuari.

Hemiancistrus guahiborum is one of the most common ancistrins in the upper Orinoco River basin. It is found in both granitic and lateritic rocky habitats with flow, where it was caught in abundance. Hemiancistrus guahiborum feeds by scraping periphyton and ingesting both the sediment matrix deposited from the water column, and attached algae and benthic macroinvertebrates. Other loricariids commonly collected with H. guahiborum were Hypostomus squalinus, Hemiancistrus subviridis, Peckoltia sabaji, and P. aff vittata. Although the range of H. guahiborum encompasses a region where loricariids are intensively harvested for the ornamental fish trade and it is one of the most abundant loricariids in the area, it is not commonly exported. Despite its often quite attractive appearance when alive, it is typically passed over by fishermen seeking the more strikingly colored species with which it is sympatric.

Werneke, David C.; Armbruster, Jonathan W.; Lujan, Nathan K.; Taphorn, Donald C. 2005. Hemiancistrus guahiborum, a new suckermouth armored catfish from Southern Venezuela (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Neotropical Ichthyology. (Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia) 3 (4): 543–548.