Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2023-05-16
Page range: 360-372
Abstract views: 211
PDF downloaded: 13

Chromatic polymorphism in Trichomycterus jacupiranga from eastern Brazilian Coastal basins (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae)

Laboratório de Sistemática e Evolução de Peixes Teleósteos; Instituto de Biologia; Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Caixa Postal 68049; CEP 21941-971; Rio de Janeiro; Brazil
Laboratório de Sistemática e Evolução de Peixes Teleósteos; Instituto de Biologia; Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Caixa Postal 68049; CEP 21941-971; Rio de Janeiro; Brasil
Laboratório de Sistemática e Evolução de Peixes Teleósteos; Instituto de Biologia; Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Caixa Postal 68049; CEP 21941-971; Rio de Janeiro; Brasil
Pisces atlantic Forest colour pattern freshwater fish inventories Neotropical catfishes rio ribeira de Iguape basin tijuca National Park


Trichomycterinae catfishes often have high intraspecific variability in colour patterns that may be associated with ontogenetic changes or habitat preferences. In species of the eastern South American genus Trichomycterus s.s., some cases of chromatic polymorphism have been reported but colour pattern is still considered an important tool for species identification. Herein, we first describe chromatic polymorphism in the geographically widespread T. jacupiranga, comparing populations from Tijuca National Park and Ribeira do Iguape basin, identifying four syntopic colour morphs. In addition, we performed a phylogenetic analysis using partial sequences of the mitochondrial gene 12Ss gene for 16 individuals of T. jacupiranga, with a maximum of 0.2% of genetic distance, corroborating T. jacupiranga as a single widespread species. Finally, based on our results and field observations, we concluded that it is not possible at the present to associate chromatic polymorphism in T. jacupiranga with habitat preferences, since specimens with different colouration in variable ontogenetic stages were found at the same microhabitats.



  1. Arratia, G., Chang, A., Menu-Marque, S. & Rojas, G. (1978) About Bullockia gen. nov., Trichomycterus mendozensis n. sp. and revision of the family Trichomycteridae (Pisces, Siluriformes). Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 13 (3–4), 157–194. DOI:
  2. Arratia, G. (1983) Preferencias de habitat de peces siluriformes de aguas continentales de Chile (fam. Diplomystidae y Trichomycteridae). Studies on neotropical Fauna and Environment, 18 (40), 217–237. DOI:
  3. Bockmann, F.A. & Sazima, I. (2004) Trichomycterus maracaya, a new catfish from the upper rio Paraná, southeastern Brazil (Silurifomres: Trichomycteridae), with notes on the T. brasiliensis species-complex. Neotropical Ichthyology, 2 (2), 61–74. DOI:
  4. Caramaschi, E.P. & Caramaschi, U. (1991) Taxonomic status of the Tricomycterid Catfish Trichomycteus itatiayae. Copeia, 1991, 222–224. DOI:
  5. Chenna, R., Sugawara, H., Koike, T., Lopez, R., Gibson, T.J., Higgins, D.G. & Thompson, J.D. (2003) Multiple sequence alignment with the Clustal series of programs. Nucleic Acids Research, 31, 3497–3500. DOI:
  6. Costa, W.J.E.M. (2021) Comparative Osteology, Phylogeny and Classification of the Eastern South American Catfish Genus Trichomycterus (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Taxonomy, 1, 160–191. DOI:
  7. Costa, W.J.E.M. & Katz, A.M. (2021) Integrative taxonomy supports high species diversity of south-eastern Brazilian mountain catfishes of the T. reinhardti group (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Systematics and Biodiversity, 2021, 1–21. DOI:
  8. Costa, W.J.E.M., Katz, A.M, Mattos, J.L.O., Amorim, P.F., Mesquita, B.O., Vilardo, P.J. & Barbosa, M.A. (2020) Historical review and redescription of three poorly known species of the catfish genus Trichomycterus from south-eastern Brazil (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Journal of Natural History, 53, 47–48. DOI:
  9. Costa, W.J.E.M, Mattos, J.L.O., Amorim, P.F., Mesquita, B.O. & Katz, A.M. (2023). Chromatic polymorfism in Trichomycterus albinotatus (Siluriformes, Trichomycteridae), a mountain catfish from south-eastern Brazil and the role of colouration characters in trichomycterine taxonomy. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 99(1): 161–171. DOI:
  10. Costa, W.J.E.M., Mattos, J.L.O., Lemos, S., Amorim, P.F. & Katz, A.M. (2022a) Integrative Taxonomy, Distribution and Ontogenetic Colouration Change in Neotropical Mountain Catfishes of the Trichomycterus nigroauratus Group (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Zoological Studies, 61,11.
  11. Costa, W.J.E.M., Mattos, J.L.O., Vilardo, P.J., Amorim, P.F. & Katz, A.M. (2022b) Perils of underestimating Species Diversity: Revisiting Systematics of Psammocambeva Catfishes (Siluriformes:Trichomycteridae) from the Rio Paraíba do Sul Basin, South-Eastern Brazil. Taxonomy, 2, 491–523. DOI:
  12. Donin, L.M., Ferrer, J. & Carvalho, T.P. (2020) Taxonomical study of Trichomycterus (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) from the Ribeira de Iguape River basin revels a new species recorded in the early 20th century. Journal of Fish Biology, 96, 886–904. DOI:
  13. Eigenmann, C.H. (1917) Description of sixteen new species of Pygidiidae. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 56, 690–703.
  14. Eigenmann, C.H. (1918) The Pygidiidae, a subfamily of South American catfishes. Memoirs of the Carnegie Museum, 7, 259–398. DOI:
  15. Ferrer, J. & Malabarba, L.R. (2013) Taxonomic review of the genus Trichomycterus Valenciennes (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) from the laguna dos Patos system, Southern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 11 (2), 217–246. DOI:
  16. Fricke, R., Eschmeyer, W.N. & Van Der Laan, R. (2023) Eschmeyer’s Catalog of Fishes: Genera, Species, References. Available from: (accessed 10 January 2023)
  17. Katz, A.M., Barbosa, M.A., Mattos J.L.O. & Costa W.J.E.M. (2018) Multigene analysis of the catfish genus Trichomycterus and description of a new South American trichomycterine genus (Siluriformes, Trichomycteridae). Zoosystematics and Evolution, 94, 557–566. DOI:
  18. Kocher, T.D., Thomas, W.K., Meyer, A., Edwards, S.V., Pääbo, S., Villablanca, F.X. & Wilson, A.C. (1989). Dynamics of mitochondrial DNA evolution in animals: amplification and sequencing with conserved primers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 86 (16), 6196–200. DOI:
  19. Kumar, S., Stecher, G., Li, M., Knyaz, C. & Tamura, K. (2020) MEGA X: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis across Computing Platforms. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 35, 1547–1549. DOI:
  20. Lanfear, R., Frandsen, P.B., Wright, A.M., Senfeld, T. & Calcott, B. (2016) PartitionFinder 2: new methods for selecting partitioned models of evolution for molecular and morphological phylogenetic analyses. Molecular biology and evolution, 34 (3), 772–773. DOI:
  21. Lima, S.M.Q., Lazzaroto, H. & Costa, W.J.E.M. (2008) A new species of Trichomycterus (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) from lagoa Feia drainage, southeastern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 6 (3), 315–322. DOI:
  22. Lima, S.M.Q., Berbel-Filho, W.M., Vilasboa, A., Lazoski, C., Volpi, T.A., Lazzarotto, H., Russo, C.A.M., Tatarenkov, A., Avise, J.C. & Solé-Cava, A.M. (2021) Rio de Janeiro and other palaeodrainages evidenced by the genetic structure of an Atlantic Forest catfish. Journal of Biogeography, 48 (6), 1475–1488. DOI:
  23. Rambaut, A., Suchard, M.A., Xie, D. & Drummond, A.J. (2014) Tracer. Version 1.6. Available from: (accessed 1 May 2023)
  24. Reis, V.J.C. & de Pinna, M.C.C. (2019) The type specimens of Trichomycterus alternatus (Eigenmann, 1917) and Trichomycterus zonatus (Eigenmann, 1918), with elements for future revisionary work (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Zootaxa, 4586 (1), 100–120. DOI:
  25. Reis, V.J.C. & de Pinna, M.C.C. (2022). Diversity and systematics of Trichomycterus Valenciennes 1832 (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) in the Rio Doce Basin: iterating DNA, phylogeny and classical taxonomy. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2022,1–98. DOI:
  26. Ronquist, F., Teslenko, M., Van Der Mark, P., Ayers, D.L., Darling, A., Höhna, S., Larget, B., Liu, L., Suchard, M.A. & Huelsenbeck, J.P. (2012) MrBayes 3.2: efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space. Systematic Biology, 61, 539–542. DOI:
  27. da Silva, C.C.F., Matta, S.K.S.F., Hilsdorf, A.W.S., Langeani, F. & Marceniuk, A.P. (2010). Color pattern variation in Trichomycterus iheringi (Eigenmann, 1917) (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) from Itatinga and Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 8 (1), 49–56. DOI:
  28. Vilardo, P.J., Katz, A.M. & Costa, W.J.E.M. (2020) Relationships and Description of a New Species of Trichomycterus (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) from the Rio Paraíba do Sul basin, South-eastern Brazil. Zoological Studies, 59 (53), 1–12.
  29. Wosiacki, W.B. & Oyakawa, O.T. (2005) Two new species of the catfish genus Trichomycterus (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) from the rio Ribeira de Iguape Basin, Southeastern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 3 (4), 465–472. DOI: