Apteronotus Lacepede

Carlos David de Santana & Javier A. Maldonado-Ocampo, 2004, Redescription of Apteronotus mariae (Eigenmann & Fisher, 1914) and the taxonomic status of Apteronotus jurubidae (Fowler, 1944) (Gymnotiformes: Apteronotidae)., Zootaxa 632, pp. 1-14: 1-2

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Apteronotus Lacepede


[[ Genus Apteronotus Lacepede  ZBK  ]]

Apteronotus Lacepede  ZBK  is the most diverse genus in Apteronotidae (Mago-Leccia, 1994; Albert & Campos-da-Paz, 1998; Campos-da-Paz, 1999; Albert, 2001; Albert, 2003; de Santana, 2003; de Santana et al., 2004). Albert (2003) lists 16 nominal species of Apteronotus  ZBK  . De Santana (2003) and de Santana et al. (2004) described two more species, bringing the total number of species to 18. In earlier papers, Albert & Campos-da-Paz (1998) and Albert (2001) divided Apteronotus  ZBK  into a putatively monophyletic Apteronotus  ZBK  “sensu stricto” clade differing from previous concepts of Apterontous  ZBK  (e.g., Mago-Leccia 1994), and several additional species of Apteronotus  ZBK  “sensu lato” whose phylogenetic relationships are unclear. This division was, however, not maintained in the catalog of alpha-taxonomy presented by Albert (2003) where both Apteronotus  ZBK  “sensu stricto” and “sensu lato” are combined. In this paper our references to Apteronotus  ZBK  forthwith refer only to Apteronotus  ZBK  “sensu stricto”.

Currently, eight endemic species of Apteronotus  ZBK  are known from the Trans-Andean region (de Santana, 2002; de Santana et al., 2004). This group is notorious for having the most varied phenotypes in the family Apteronotidae (Alves-Gomes, 1997; de Santana, 2002) and for having many cases of secondary sexual dimorphism in head shape (de Santana, 2002; de Santana, 2003; de Santana et al., 2004). They are known to inhabit both floodplain and terra firme streams and rivers, and to prey on small insects and fishes (Ellis, 1913; Crampton, 1998; Albert, 2003). As in most genera of Neotropical electric fishes, the alpha-taxonomy of Apteronotus  ZBK  is still poorly understood (Albert et al., 1999; Campos-daPaz, 1999; de Santana, 2002; 2003). However, intensive taxonomic work is ongoing on the genus (e.g., de Santana, 2002; de Santana, 2003; de Santana et al., 2004). Continuing the taxonomic study on the Colombia Trans-Andean Apteronotidae, a detailed re-examination was made of two poorly known nominal gymnotiform species Sternarchus mariae Eigenmann& Fisher  ZBK  and Sternarchus jurubidae Fowler  ZBK  .

Eigenmann & Fisher (1914) described S. mariae  ZBK  from the Rio Magdalena Basin at Giradort and Apulo, Colombia. S. jurubidae  ZBK  was later described by Fowler (1944) from the Rio Jurubidá at Nuquí, also in Colombia. Albert & Campos-da-Paz (1998) and Albert (2001) recently included these two species in Apteronotus  ZBK  . The species were included in the “ A. albifrons species-group  .” Albert & Campos-da-Paz (1998) and Albert (2001) suggested that A. jurubidae  and A. spurrellii (Regan)  , not treated in the present work, could represent synonyms of A. mariae  . However, de Santana (2002, 2003) presented a dichotomous key in which both A. mariae  and A. jurubidae  were distinguished from each other and from other members of Apteronotus  ZBK  , and Albert (2003) listed A. jurubidae  as a valid species. In the present work we provide a redescription of A. mariae  , and investigate the specific status of A. jurubidae  .