Tuesday, March 18, 2014

[Ichthyology • 2006] Morphology and Distribution of the Cave Knifefish Eigenmannia vicentespelaea Triques, 1996 (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) from Central Brazil, with an expanded Diagnosis and comments on Subterranean Evolution

(upper) Living specimen of Eigenmannia vicentespelaea with relatively well developed eyes and translucent aspect. Note the three longitudinal stripes (LEA: 121.9 mm). Photo: José Sabino.
(lower) Sinkhole of São Vicente Cave System, São Domingos karst area, Goiás State, Central Brazil – type locality of Eigenmannia vicentespelaea Triques, 1996. Photo: E. M. Bichuette

We present herein data on morphology and distribution of the cave knifefish Eigenmannia vicentespelaea Triques, 1996, from the São Domingos karst area, Central Brazil, comparing it to the epigean (surface) species, Eigenmannia sp., found in the same area (but not syntopic with E. vicentespelaea) and also with congeners from other localities. Collecting sites comprising epigean and subterranean stream reaches in São Domingos were sampled during the dry seasons of 1999, 2000, and 2001 using several methods. Preserved specimens of E. vicentespelaea (n=25, including holotype and paratype) and of Eigenmannia sp. (n=15) were compared with focus on morphometric characters, body pigmentation and eye condition. A combination of characters separates E. vicentespelaea from Eigenmannia sp. and other congeners: the length from the tip of the snout to the posterior of the anal fin base, ocular diameter: head length and pre-anal distance: head length proportions, and body pigmentation. A wider morphometric variation in E. vicentespelaea is described than that reported in the original description (based on two specimens).

Key words: Morphometric data, electric fishes, cave environment, São Domingos karst area.

Maria Elina Bichuette and Eleonora Trajano. 2006. Morphology and Distribution of the Cave Knifefish Eigenmannia vicentespelaea Triques, 1996 (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) from Central Brazil, with an expanded Diagnosis and comments on Subterranean Evolution. Neotropical Ichthyology. 4(1); 99-105