Moenkhausia lepidura ( Kner, 1858 )

Marinho, Manoela M. F. & Langeani, Francisco, 2016, Reconciling more than 150 years of taxonomic confusion: the true identity of Moenkhausia lepidura, with a key to the species of the M. lepidura group (Characiformes: Characidae), Zootaxa 4107 (3), pp. 338-352: 340-343

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Moenkhausia lepidura ( Kner, 1858 )


Moenkhausia lepidura ( Kner, 1858) 

( Figs. 1 –5View FIGURE 1. AView FIGURE 2View FIGURE 3View FIGURE 4View FIGURE 5, 7View FIGURE 7 a; Table 1, 2)

Tetragonopterus lepidurus Kner, 1858: 80  [rio Guaporé (subsequentely reported by Kner 1959: 177)]; 1859: 176, pl. 8, fig. 20 [detailed description].— Eigenmann & Eigenmann, 1891: 53 [catalog, Amazon from Óbidos to Tabatinga].? Günther, 1864: 328 [literature compilation].

Moenkhausia lepidurus  .? Eigenmann, 1910: 438 [in part, only Amazon basin; catalog].

Moenkhausia lepidura lepidura  .? Eigenmann, 1917: 68 [key], 98 [in part, only Amazon species with predorsal region with two lateral series of scales anteriory, followed by one medial series; redescription].

Moenkhausia lepidura  .? Géry, 1977: 451 [similar to Gymnotichthys hildae  ].? Géry 1992: 70, fig. 1 [in part, redescription], 78 [key].? Lima et al., 2003: 148 [in part, only Amazon and Orinoco basins; literature compilation].? Lima et al., 2007: 59 [literature compilation].? Marinho & Langeani, 2010 a: 60 [diagnosis of M. mikia  ; literature compilation].? Marinho & Langeani, 2010 b: 878 [literature compilation; comparative material].? Mirande, 2010: 506 [comments on phylogeny].? Oliveira & Marinho, 2016 [diagnosis of M. abyss  ; literature compilation].

Gymnotichthys hildae Fernández-Yépez, 1950: 10  , pl. 2: figs 1 [rio Autana].? Géry, 1977: 438 [key], 451 [similar to Moenkhausia lepidura  ]. Géry, 1992: 78 [key].? Lasso, et al., 1997: 41 [type catalog].? Lima et al., 2003: 128 [literature compilation].? Mirande, 2010: 546 [comments on phylogeny].

Diagnosis. Moenkhausia lepidura  can be distinguished from all congeners, except M. abyss  , M. celibela  , M. gracilima  , M. hasemani  , M. hysterosticta  , M. icae  , M. inrai  , M. lata  , M. megalops  , M. mikia  , and M. loweae  , by having a dark blotch on the upper caudal-fin lobe, and lower lobe hyaline (vs. caudal lobes hyaline or with a black blotch on both lobes). Moenkhausia lepidura  is distinguished from all the aforementioned species by the arrangement of the predorsal scales, which consists of two median series from the tip of supraocciptal spine followed by one medial series reaching the dorsal-fin origin ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5) (vs. one median series from the supraocciptal spine to the dorsal-fin origin). The pigmentation of the caudal fin also helps to recognize M. lepidura  among the species above, which is black, extending from middle caudal-fin rays to the upper lobe (vs. upper caudal-fin lobe pigmentation not as dark; when black, not located on middle caudal-fin rays).

Description. Morphometrics in Table 1. Largest specimen examined 84.0 mm SL. Body compressed, greatest body depth slightly ahead of vertical through dorsal-fin origin. Dorsal profile of body convex from upper lip to nares; straight from nares to tip of supraoccipital spine; convex from supraoccipital spine to dorsal-fin origin; straight to slightly convex along dorsal-fin base; straight to slightly convex from posterior terminus of dorsal-fin base to adipose-fin origin; slightly concave along caudal peduncle. Ventral profile of body convex from tip of lower jaw to pelvic-fin origin; straight from pelvic-fin origin to anal-fin origin; straight along anal-fin base and slightly concave along caudal peduncle.

Mouth terminal; upper jaw slightly ahead lower jaw. Premaxillary teeth in two rows, outer with 3 (3), 4 * (85) or 5 (10) tricuspid teeth, inner with 5 * (97) or 6 (1) tetra- to pentacuspid teeth ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4). Maxilla extending posteriorly to vertical through anterior margin of eye, with 1 (60) or 2 * (38) tricuspid teeth. Dentary with four pentacuspid teeth and a series of 6 – 9 very small conical or tricuspid teeth.

Pectoral-fin rays i* (98), 12 (10), 13 * (67), 14 (19), or 15 (2), their tips not reaching pelvic-fin origin. Pelvicfin rays i, 7 * (98), their tips reaching or just anterior to anal-fin origin. Anal-fin rays iv (1) or v (6), 20 (13), 21 * (29), 22 (42), 23 (11), 24 (1) or 25 (1); last unbranched and first three or four branched anal-fin rays much longer then remaining rays. Four supraneurals, all rod-shaped, with bony lamellae in upper portion. Dorsal-fin rays ii, 9 * (98), first unbranched dorsal-fin ray almost half length of second unbranched ray. Dorsal-fin origin slightly posterior to vertical through pelvic-fin origin; base of last dorsal-fin ray anterior to vertical through anal-fin origin. Adipose-fin origin approximately at vertical through base of 16 th to 19 th branched anal-fin rays. Caudal-fin rays i* (98), 16 (1), 17 * (96), or 18 (2), i* (98). Caudal fin forked; lobes of similar size. Dorsal procurrent caudal-fin rays 11 (3) or 12 (4), ventral procurrent caudal-fin rays 9 (3), 10 (2) or 11 (2).

Lateral line completely pored, slightly curved ventrally, with 33 (4), 34 (15), 35 * (29), 36 (32), or 37 (5) perforated scales. Scales of anterior portion of predorsal area arranged in pairs, followed by a single median row of scales extending to dorsal-fin origin ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5). Longitudinal scale rows between dorsal-fin origin and lateral line 5 * (95); longitudinal scale rows between lateral line and pelvic-fin origin 3 (2) or 4 * (60). Single row of 5–9 scales overlying base of anteriormost anal-fin rays. Scale rows around caudal peduncle 14 * (90). Small scales along first and second third of upper and lower caudal-fin lobes. Vertebrae 33 (5) or 34 (2). Four branchiostegal rays. Gill rakers on first gill arch 8 (4) or 9 (3) on epibranchial, 1 on intermediate cartilage, 9 (3) or 10 (4) on ceratobranchial, none (5) or 1 (2) on intermediate cartilage, and 2 (4) or 3 (3) on hypobranchial. Lateral base of gill rackers expanded, forming a small plate with small denticles extending to the posterior portion of the branchial arch ( Fig. 7View FIGURE 7).

Color in alcohol. Overall coloration yellow to brownish ( Figs. 1View FIGURE 1. A, 2View FIGURE 2). Snout, jaws, and top of head with small dark chromatophores; infraorbitals and opercular areas with larger dark chromatophores. Dorsal portion of body dark. First three dorsal horizontal scale rows on body with slightly reticulated pattern, formed by scales bordered by dark pigment. Humeral spot small, vertically over two scale rows above lateral line, sometimes also over lateral line, and horizontally over second and third lateral-line scales. Dark line at horizontal septum, extending from humeral spot to middle caudal peduncle. Broad longitudinal dark band extending approximately from vertical to dorsal-fin origin to caudal-fin base, sometimes becoming a rounded faint blotch at caudal peduncle. Frequently, superficial pigmentation spread over longitudinal band, more concentrated at vertical through fifth to sixth lateralline scales, gradually becoming fainter towards caudal peduncle, extending vertically over two scale rows. Upper caudal-fin lobe and middle caudal-fin rays with continuous black mark, contrasting with whitish rounded area dorsally on anterior third of caudal-fin lobe; frequently, darker pigmentation limiting whitish area ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 a). Some specimens with caudal-fin black mark restricted to ventral portion of upper lobe and middle rays ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 b). Pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, anal, adipose fin and lower caudal-fin lobe with scattered dark chromatophores.

Color in life. Based on photographs of freshly collected specimens ( Fig. 3View FIGURE 3). Overall coloration silvery. Eye, dorsal and adipose fin orange. Pectoral, pelvic, anal fins, and lower caudal-fin lobe hyaline. Middle caudal-fin rays and distal portion of upper caudal-fin lobe black, proximal portion of upper lobe varying from yellow to red.

Sexual dimorphism. Tiny bony spines distributed on distal portion of first seven pelvic-, and five longest anal-fin rays of mature males.

Distribution. Moenkhausia lepidura  is distributed in Amazonas lowlands, including rios Tocantins-Araguaia, Madeira, Negro and lower portions of the Tapajós and Trombetas. It is also distributed in the rio Orinoco basin.

TABLE 1. Morphometric data of Moenkhausia lepidura. Type specimens not included in the range of non-types. SD for Standard Deviation.

Moenkhausia lepidura Gymnotichthys hildae

TABLE 1. Morphometric data of Moenkhausia lepidura. Type specimens not included in the range of non-types. SD for Standard Deviation.

Moenkhausia lepidura Gymnotichthys hildae














Moenkhausia lepidura ( Kner, 1858 )

Marinho, Manoela M. F. & Langeani, Francisco 2016


Moenkhausia lepidura

Marinho 2010: 60Marinho 2010: 878Mirande 2010: 506
Lima 2007: 59
Lima 2003: 148
Gery 1992: 70
Gery 1977: 451


Gymnotichthys hildae Fernández-Yépez, 1950 : 10

Mirande 2010: 546
Lima 2003: 128
Lasso 1997: 41
Gery 1992: 78
Gery 1977: 438Fernandez-Yepez 1950: 10


Moenkhausia lepidura lepidura

Eigenmann 1917: 68


Moenkhausia lepidurus

Eigenmann 1910: 438


Tetragonopterus lepidurus

Eigenmann 1891: 53
Gunther 1864: 328Kner 1858: 80