An Eyeless, Pale Catfish from the Amazon

Main report: Eyeless Catfish Named for Discoverer’s Daughter
Other Reporting: Planet Catfish, Science Daily,
Scientific Paper: Copeia   
New Taxa: Xyliphius sofiae
Species named for: the authors daughter
Categories: Fish | New Species
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Just over 44 millimeters from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail, the X. sofiae is relatively small for Xyliphius, a genus of banjo catfish native to South America. Described by Mark Sabaj of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University,  the new catfish “has two characteristics that are relatively rare among catfishes: the complete loss of its eyes and its pale — almost extreme lack of — pigmentation,” Sabaj said. “Most catfishes with similar features inhabit underground aquifers and other cave environments.”  The species is described from a single specimen  collected in the main channel of the Río Amazonas near Iquitos, Peru.

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