Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2023-07-11
Page range: 315-328
Abstract views: 514
PDF downloaded: 14

A new genus and species of whiptail armored catfish (Siluriformes: Loricariinae) from southern Venezuela

Centro MBUCV; Instituto de Zoología y Ecología Tropical; Facultad de Ciencias; UCV; Caracas; Venezuela
Pisces Diversity Freshwater Fishes Orinoco River basin Systematic Taxonomy


A new genus and species of whiptail loricariid catfish belonging to the Pseudohemiodon group is described with 12 specimens captured from the upper Orinoco River and Casiquiare River, Amazonas State, Venezuela. The specimens show delicate and fragile appearance, and are small (largest specimen 74.3 mm SL). The new species has external morphological characters that support its inclusion in the Pseudohemiodon group; however, its mouth morphology is distinctive and unique with features not observed in any species of that group, nor in any other species included in tribe Loricariini or in subfamily Loricariinae. The distinctive buccal characters include: 1) barblets on upper lip border and the maxillary barbel included and interconnected by translucent membrane, leaving the tips free; 2) lower lip surface covered with elongated, cylindrical, unbranched, and fleshy barblets, which resemble filaments, some of them surpassing the border of lower lip. The comparative analyses carried out determined that the recently described species Rhadinoloricaria papillosa has the same two diagnostic buccal characters observed in the new species; therefore it is transferred to the new genus.



  1. Azevedo-Santos, V.M., Arcifa, M.S., Marcelo Brito, F.G., Agostinho, A.A., Hughes, R.M., Vitule, J.R.S., Simberloff, D., Olden, J.D. & Pelicice, F.M. (2021) Negative impacts of mining on Neotropical freshwater fishes. Neotropical Ichthyology, 19 (3), e210001. DOI:
  2. Boeseman, M. (1971) The “comb-toothed” Loricariinae of Surinam, with reflections on the phylogenetic tendencies within the family Loricariidae (Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Zoologische Verhandelingen, 116, 1–56.
  3. Boeseman, M. (1976) A short review of the Surinam Loricariinae; with additional information on Surinam Harttiinae, including the description of a new species (Loricariidae, Siluriformes). Zoologische Mededelingen, 50 (11), 153–177.
  4. Chang, F. & Castro, E. (1999) Crossoloricaria bahuaja, a new loricariid fish from Madre de Dios, southeastern Peru. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 10 (1), 81–88.
  5. Costa-Silva, G.J., Oliveira, C. & Silva, G.S.C. (2021) New species of Rineloricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Paranaíba River basin, Brazil. Zootaxa, 5072 (6), 531–540. DOI:
  6. Covain, R. & Fisch-Muller, S. (2007) The genera of the Neotropical armored catfish subfamily Loricariinae (Siluriformes: Loricariidae): a practical key and synopsis. Zootaxa, 1462 (1), 1–40. DOI:
  7. Covain, R., Fisch-Muller, S., Montoya-Burgos, J., Mol, J.H., Le Bail, P. & Dray, S. (2012) The Harttiini (Siluriformes, Loricariidae) from the Guianas: a multi-table approach to assess their diversity, evolution, and distribution. Cybium, 36, 115–161.
  8. Covain, R., Fisch–Muller, S., Oliveira, C., Mol, J.H., Montoya-Burgos, J.I. & Dray, S. (2016) Molecular phylogeny of the highly diversified catfish subfamily Loricariinae (Siluriformes, Loricariidae) reveals incongruence with morphological classification. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94, 492–517. DOI:
  9. Crispim-Rodrigues, J.L., Bernt, M.J., Waltz, B.T., Silva, G.S.C., Benine, R.C., Oliveira, C., Covain, R. & Roxo, F.F. (2023) A new species of mailed catfish of genus Rhadinoloricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae: Loricariinae) from Rio Negro basin, Brazil. Journal of Fish Biology, 1–10. [published online] DOI:
  10. Fichberg, I., Oyakawa, O.T. & de Pinna, M. (2014) The end of an almost 70-year wait: a new species of Spatuloricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Rio Xingu and Rio Tapajós Basins. Copeia, 2, 317–324. DOI:
  11. Fricke, R., Eschmeyer, W.N. & van der Laan, R. (2023) Eschmeyer’s Catalog of Fishes: Genera, Species, References. Available from: research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp (accessed 7 June 2022)
  12. Isbrücker, I.J.H. (1972) The identity of the South American catfish Loricaria cataphracta Linnaeus, 1758, with redescriptions of the original type specimens of four other nominal Loricaria species (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Beaufortia, 19 (255), 163–190.
  13. Isbrücker, I.J.H. (1975a) Pseudohemiodon thorectes, a new species of mailed catfish from the Rio Mamoré system, Bolivia (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Beaufortia, 23, 85–92.
  14. Isbrücker, I.J.H. (1975b) Metaloricaria paucidens, a new species and genus of mailed catfish from French Guiana (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Bulletin de l’Institut Royal des Sciences de Belgique, Biologie, 50 (4), 1–9.
  15. Isbrücker, I.J.H. (1979) Description préliminaire de nouveaux taxa de la famille des Loricariidae, poissons-chats cuirassés néotropicaux, avec un catalogue critique de la sous-famille nominale (Pisces, Siluriformes). Revue Française d’Aquariologie et Herpetologie, 5, 86–117.
  16. Isbrücker, I.J.H. (1981) Revision of Loricaria Linnaeus, 1758 (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Beaufortia, 31 (3), 51–96.
  17. Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1974a) Rhadinoloricaria gen. nov. and Planiloricaria, two genera of South American mailed catfishes (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Beaufortia, 22 (290), 67–81.
  18. Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1974b) On Hemiodontichthys acipenserinus and Reganella depressa, two remarkable mailed catfishes from South America (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Beaufortia, 22 (294), 193–222.
  19. Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1976) The South American mailed catfishes of the genus Pseudoloricaria Bleeker, 1862 (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Beaufortia, 25 (325), 107–129.
  20. Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1978) Two new species and a new genus of neotropical mailed catfishes of the subfamily Loricariinae Swainson, 1838 (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Beaufortia, 27 (339), 177–206.
  21. Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1983) Crossoloricaria rhami n. sp., un nouveau poisson-chat cuirassé du Rio Huacamayo, Pérou (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Revue Française d’Aquariologie et Herpetologie, 10, 9–12.
  22. Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1984) Pyxiloricaria menezesi, a new genus and species of mailed catfish from Rio Miranda and Rio Cuiabá, Brazil (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 54 (2), 163–168. DOI:
  23. Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1986a) New records of the mailed catfish Planiloricaria cryptodon from the upper Amazon in Peru, Brazil and Bolivia, with a key to the genera of the Planiloricariina. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 56 (1), 39–46. DOI:
  24. Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1986b) Apistoloricaria condei, nouveau genre et nouvelle espèce de poisson-chat cuirassé, tribu Loricariini Bonaparte, 1831, du bassin du Rio Napo, haute Amazone, Equateur (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Revue Française d’Aquariologie et Herpetologie, 12, 103–108.
  25. Kner, R. (1853) Die Panzerwelse des K.K. Hof-naturalien-Cabinetes zu Wien. I. Abtheilung: Loricarinae. Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe, 6, 1–34, pls. 1–8. DOI:
  26. Langeani, F., Oyakawa, O.T. & Montoya-Burgos, J.I. (2001) New species of Harttia (Loricariidae, Loricariinae) from the rio São Francisco basin. Copeia, 2001 (1), 136–142.[0136:NSOHLL]2.0.CO;2 DOI:[0136:NSOHLL]2.0.CO;2
  27. Londoño-Burbano, A. (2018) A new species of Sturisoma (Loricariidae: Loricariinae) from the Madre de Dios River basin, Peru, with a key to all congeners and comments on the type series of Sturisoma rostratum. Journal of Fish Biology, 92 (4), 999–1015. DOI:
  28. Londoño-Burbano, A. & Reis, R.E. (2016) Taxonomic revision and phylogenetic relationships of Dasyloricaria Isbrücker & Nijssen, 1979 (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), with description of a new species. Neotropical Ichthyology, 14, 107–138. DOI:
  29. Londoño-Burbano, A & Reis, R.E. (2019) A taxonomic revision of Sturisomatichthys Isbrücker and Nijssen, 1979 (Loricariidae: Loricariinae), with descriptions of three new species. Copeia, 107 (4), 764–806. DOI:
  30. Londoño-Burbano, A. & Reis, R.E. (2021) A combined molecular and morphological phylogeny of the Loricariinae (Siluriformes, Loricariidae), with emphasis on the Harttiini and Farlowellini. PLoS ONE, 16 (3), e0247747. DOI:
  31. Londoño-Burbano, A. & Urbano-Bonilla, A. (2018) A new species of Rineloricaria (Teleostei: Loricariidae) from the upper Vaupés River, Amazon River basin, Colombia. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 22, 185–192. DOI:
  32. Londoño-Burbano, A., Lefebvre, S.L. & Lujan, N.K. (2014) A new species of Limatulichthys Isbrücker & Nijssen (Loricariidae, Loricariinae) from the western Guiana shield. Zootaxa, 3884 (4), 360–370. DOI:
  33. Londoño-Burbano, A., Urbano-Bonilla, A. & Thomas, M.R. (2020) Loricaria cuffyi (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), a new species of loricariin catfish from the Guiana Shield. Journal of Fish Biology, 98 (1), 154–167. DOI:
  34. Londoño-Burbano, A., Urbano-Bonilla, A., Rojas-Molina, Y., Ramírez-Gil, H. & Prada-Pedreros, S. (2018) A new species of Spatuloricaria Schultz, 1944 (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), from the Orinoco River basin, Colombia. Copeia, 106 (4), 611–621. DOI:
  35. Martín Salazar, F.J., Isbrücker, I.J.H. & Nijssen, H. (1982) Dentectus barbarmatus, a new genus and species of mailed catfish from the Orinoco basin of Venezuela (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Beaufortia, 32 (8), 125–137.
  36. Morris, P.J., Yager, H.M. & Sabaj Pérez, M.H. (2006) ACSImagebase: A digital archive of catfish images compiled by participants in the All Catfish Species Inventory [Image on the internet]. Available from: (accessed 8 June 2022)
  37. Nijssen, H. & Isbrücker, I.J.H. (1988) Trois nouvelles espèces du genre Apistoloricaria de Colombie et du Pérou, avec illustration du dimorphisme sexuel secondaire des lèvres de A. condei (Pisces, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Revue Française d’Aquariologie et Herpetologie, 15 (2), 33–38.
  38. Oliveira, J.C. de & Oyakawa, O.T. (2019) New loricariid fishes from headwaters on Serra da Mantiqueira and Complexo do Espinhaço, Minas Gerais State, Brazil (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Zootaxa, 4586 (3), 401–424. DOI:
  39. Oyakawa, O.T. (1993) Cinco espécies novas de Harttia Steindachner, 1877 da região sudeste do Brasil e comentários sobre o gênero (Teleostei, Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Comunicações do Museu de Ciências PUCRS, Porto Alegre, Série Zoologia, 6, 3–27.
  40. Oyakawa, O.T., Fichberg I. & Rapp Py-Daniel, L.H. (2018) Three new species of Harttia (Lricariidae: Loricariinae) from Serra do Cachimbo, Rio Xingu basin, Pará, northern Brazil. Zootaxa, 4387 (1), 75–90. DOI:
  41. Paixão, A.C. & Toledo-Piza, M. (2009) Systematics of Lamontichthys Miranda-Ribeiro (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), with the description of two new species. Neotropical Ichthyology, 7, 519–568. DOI:
  42. Provenzano, F. (2011) Estudio sobre las relaciones filogenéticas de las especies incluidas en la subfamilia Loricariinae (Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Unpublished Doctor in Science Dissertation, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, 266 pp. []
  43. Provenzano-Rizzi, F. & Barriga-Salazar, R. (2020) New finding of Rhadinoloricaria macromystax (Siluriformes: Loricariidae): redescription of the genus and description of a new species from Ecuador. Zootaxa, 4779 (4), 485–500. DOI:
  44. Provenzano-Rizzi, F., Arguello, P. & Barriga-Salazar, R. (2022) The genus Pseudohemiodon (Siluriformes, Loricariidae) in Ecuador, with the description of a new species. Zootaxa, 5129 (1), 77–91. DOI:
  45. Rapp Py-Daniel, L.H. (1981) Furcodontichthys novaesi n. gen., n. sp. (Osteichthyes, Siluriformes; Loricariidae) na bacia Amazônia, Brasil. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Nova Serie, Zoologia, 105, 1–17.
  46. Rapp Py-Daniel, L.H. (1997) Phylogeny of the Neotropical armored catfishes of the subfamily Loricariinae (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Doctoral Thesis, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 280 pp. [ 10150/282395]
  47. Rapp Py-Daniel, L.H. & Fichberg, I. (2008) A new species of Rineloricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae: Loricariinae) from rio Daraá, rio Negro basin, Amazon, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 6 (3), 339–346. DOI:
  48. Rapp Py-Daniel, L.H. & Oliveira, E.C. (2001) Seven new species of Harttia from the Amazonian-Guyana region (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 12 (1), 79–96.
  49. Regan, C.T. (1904) A monograph of the fishes of the family Loricariidae. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, 17 (3), 191–351. DOI:
  50. Reis, R.E. & Pereira E.H.L. (2000) Three new species of the loricariid catfish genus Loricariichthys (Teleostei: Siluriformes) from southern South America. Copeia, 2000 (4), 1029–1047.[1029:TNSOTL]2.0.CO;2 DOI:[1029:TNSOTL]2.0.CO;2
  51. Reis, R.E., Vieira, F. & Pereira, E.H.L. (2021) A new species of the loricariid catfish genus Loricariichthys (Teleostei: Siluriformes) from eastern Brazil. Ichthyology & Herpetology, 109 (2), 557–566. DOI:
  52. Retzer, M.E. & Page, L.M. (1997) Systematics of the stick catfishes, Farlowella Eigenmann & Eigenmann (Pisces, Loricariidae). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 147, 33–88.
  53. Rodriguez, M.S. & Reis, R.E. (2008) Taxonomic review of Rineloricaria (Loricariidae: Loricariinae) from the Laguna dos Patos drainage, Southern Brazil, with the descriptions of two new species and the recognition of two species groups. Copeia, 2008 (2), 333–349. DOI:
  54. Rodriguez, M.S., Cavallaro, M.R. & Thomas, M.R. (2012) New diminutive species of Loricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Rio Paraguay system, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Copeia, 1, 49–56. DOI:
  55. Rodriguez, M.S., Ortega, H. & Covain, R. (2011) Intergeneric phylogenetic relationships in catfishes of the Loricariinae (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), with the description of Fonchiiloricaria nanodon: a new genus and species from Peru. Journal of Fish Biology, 79, 875–895. DOI:
  56. Rodriguez, M.S., Cramer, C.A., Bonatto, S.L. & Reis, R.E. (2008) Taxonomy of Ixinandria Isbrücker & Nijssen (Loricariidae: Loricariinae) based on morphological and molecular data. Neotropical Ichthyology, 6 (3), 367–378. DOI:
  57. Rojas-Molina, Y.A., Provenzano-Rizzi, F. & Ramírez-Gil, H. (2019) A new species of whiptail armored catfish, genus Pseudohemiodon (Siluriformes, Loricariidae) from Orinoco River basin, Llanos region of Colombia and Venezuela. Neotropical Ichthyology, 17 (2), e180160. DOI:
  58. Roxo, F.F., Ochoa, L.E., Sabaj, M.H., Lujan, N.K., Covain, R., Silva, G.S.C., Melo, B.F., Albert, J.S., Chang, J., Foresti, F., Alfaro, M.E. & Oliveira, C. (2019) Phylogenomic reappraisal of the Neotropical catfish family Loricariidae (Teleostei, Siluriformes) using ultraconserved elements. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 135, 148–165. DOI:
  59. Sabaj, M.H. (2022) Codes for Natural History Collections in Ichthyology and Herpetology (online supplement). Version 9.0. 14 February 2022. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Washington, D.C. Electronically accessible. Available from: (accessed 28 June 2023)
  60. Saraiva, A.C.S., Abreu, J.M.S., Ottoni, F.P. & Piorski, N.M. (2021) A new species of Loricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Turiaçu River basin, Eastern Amazon region, Brazil. Zootaxa, 4915 (3), 424–434. DOI:
  61. Terán, G.E., Ballen, G.A., Alonso, F., Aguilera, G. & Mirande, J.M. (2019) .A new species of Farlowella (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the upper Bermejo River, La Plata River basin, northwestern Argentina. Neotropical Ichthyology, 17 (2), 1–7. DOI:
  62. Thomas, M.R. & Rapp Py-Daniel, L.H. (2008) Three new species of the armored catfish genus Loricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from river channels of the Amazon basin. Neotropical Ichthyology, 6 (3), 379–394. DOI:
  63. Thomas, M.R. & Sabaj Pérez, M.H. (2010) A New Species of Whiptail Catfish, Genus Loricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), from the Rio Curua´ (Xingu Basin), Brazil. Copeia, 2, 274–283. DOI:
  64. Thomas, M.R., Rodriguez, M.S., Cavallaro, M.R., Froehlich, O. & Castro, R.M.C. (2013) Loricaria luciae, a new species of whiptail catfish (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Paraguay and lower Paraná River basins of southeastern South America. Zootaxa, 3745 (3), 365–378. DOI:
  65. Vera-Alcaraz, H.S., Pavanelli, C.S. & Zawadzki, C.H. (2012) Taxonomic revision of the Rineloricaria species (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Paraguay River basin. Neotropical Ichthyology, 10 (2), 285–311. DOI: