Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A round-up of some newly discovered fish species

New species of animal are discovered a lot more regularly than you might think. Bringing joy to Max and Jon's hearts are several new species of freshwater fish, which will - no doubt - turn up in the pet trade before long. As Max pointed out some weeks ago, the pet trade has new and undescribed species in on a regular basis.

1) Apistogramma erythrura
Location: Mamoré River, Bolivia.

A new dwarf cichlid, related to the well-known `ram` or Ramarezi dwarf cichlid, beloved of aquarists over the years. It is very similar to the `ram` in appearance, although is slightly smaller.
This one spawns in caves and measures less than 4 cm in length. It was described by Wolfgang Staeck and Ingo Schindler in 2008.
2) Australoheros spp
Location: Southern Brazil

Felipe Ottoni and Wilson Costa have recently described nine new species of Australoheros cichlid: Australoheros autrani, A. barbosae, A. ipatinguensis, A. macacuensis, A. muriae, A. paraibae, A. robustus, A. Saquarema. There are currently no photographs available, not even any that we could steal citing `fair use` (which covers a multitude of sins), but PFK have a series of technical descriptions of the fish HERE
3) Crenicichla tesai and Crenicichla mandelburgeri
Two new pike cichlid species have been described from tropical South America. C. tesai was taken in the Iguazú River, Argentina. This species was described last year in the journal Revue Suisse de Zoologie 115 by Cisciotta, J and A Almiron in the article Crenicichla tesai, a new species of cichlid (perciformes: Labroidei) from the Rio Iguazu basin in Argentina.

Pike Cichlids are a group of South American fishes of the genus Crenicichla. They inhabit the freshwaters lakes, streams, rivers and pools of most of the Amazonian rivers, but there are many species found in Colombian, Venezuelan and Guyanan waters to the north of the Amazon. To the south, there are representatives of the genus all the way down to coastal regions of central Argentina. Basically, they are found east of the Andes, from the island of Trinidad in the north to the area around the Argentinian Rio Negro just north of Patagonia.

This species is named after the tear-shaped suborbital stripe (the name comes from the Guaraní word for tears) and is known from the Iguazú River upstream of Iguazú falls in Argentina. According to the authors, the species was caught in streams whose bottoms were composed of mud, sand and mostly stone; the streams had falls and pools, with clear, rapidly-flowing water.

Crenicichla mandelburgeri however comes from the Paraná River, Paraguay, and was discovered in two different habitats, one with rapids and brown muddy water with a depth of 1 meter and the other with shallow water where visibility regularly fluctuated. Some of the specimens were collected from rapids in a large stream, 5–10m wide, to 1m deep, with turbid, brownish water, while others came from small, shallow brown-water streams up to about 3m wide, with varying velocity and transparency, with bottom of sand and stones, and generally without vegetation.

4) Hyphessobrycon spp
Location: Northern Venezuela

Two new species of tetra, Hyphessobrycon paucilepis and H. tuyensis were described in the journal Vertebrate zoology 58in 2008. Hyphessobrycon paucilepis originates from the small drainages in Lara state, northern Venezuela. H. tuyensis from the Tuy River drainage in northern Venezuela. Again, at present, there are no photographs available.

5) Puntius kelumi
Location: Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan scientists have described a new species of barb from southwestern Sri Lanka in a recent issue of the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. Puntius kelumi is found in the south west of Sri Lanka, mainly in large, clear-water streams flowing from mountains that contain a granite, pebble or sand substrate and are often strewn with boulders.

6) Lithogenes wahari
Location: Cuao River, Venezuela.

This species of catfish was first observed over 20 years ago, but not found again until 2001.
As described on the bloggo earlier this year, recently a type specimen was obtained and it was described in the journal American Museum Novitates. It has also been proposed by ichthyologists that an ancestor of this species may have been capable of climbing rocks.

1 comment:

Max Blake said...

I would like to make really really clear that this is a teeny tiny fraction of the new species discribed in the last few months, new species are discribed at a rough rate of 200 a year, a rate which is rising.