Apistoloricaria Isbruecker & Nijssen, 1986

Raphael Covain & Sonia Fisch-Muller, 2007, The genera of the Neotropical armored catfish subfamily Loricariinae (Siluriformes: Loricariidae): a practical key and synopsis., Zootaxa 1462, pp. 1-40: 26

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Apistoloricaria Isbruecker & Nijssen, 1986


Apistoloricaria Isbruecker & Nijssen, 1986  ZBK  .

Type species: Apistoloricaria condei Isbruecker & Nijssen, 1986  ZBK  .

Holotype: FMNH 94683, Ecuador, Rio Napo drainage, mouth of Rio Tiputini . 

Gender: feminine.

Representatives of this genus are distributed in the upper Amazon and Orinoco drainages, along the Atlantic slope of the Andes. They inhabit sand substrates and are morphologically adapted to this habitat. As with other representatives of the Pseudohemiodon  ZBK  group, their body is strongly depressed and the pelvic fins are used for locomotion, enabling these fish to appear to “walk” on the substrate. Sexual dimorphism is apparent through differentiated lip structure. The lip surfaces of the male are rather papillose while those of the female are filamentous(Nijssen & Isbrücker 1988). These taxa are abdomino-lip brooders. Eggs are laid in a single layered mass, and are attached to the surface of the lower lip and abdomen of the male. Isbrücker & Nijssen (1986a) described the biotope of A. condei  ZBK  according to D. J. Stewart’s field notes. This species was collected in turbid and dark waters, in moderately fast flowing streams, between 2 to 10 meters deep. No submerged vegetation was noted, and the bottom was made of sand, mud, dead leaves, twigs, branches, and trunks. Apistoloricaria  ZBK  is not well diagnosed and upon further examination, may prove to be a synonym of Rhadinoloricaria  ZBK  . These two genera are distinguished primarily by the presence or absence of the iris operculum (absent or vestigial in Apistoloricaria  ZBK  versus present in Rhadinoloricaria  ZBK  ), a more conspicuous rostrum in Rhadinoloricaria  ZBK  , and by the number of fringed barbels (14 in Apistoloricaria  ZBK  versus 12 in Rhadinoloricaria  ZBK  ). Four valid species are recognized (Ferraris 2003) and a key to the species is available in Nijssen & Isbrücker (1988).