Rineloricaria Bleeker, 1862

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: 35

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Rineloricaria Bleeker, 1862


Rineloricaria Bleeker, 1862  ZBK  .

Type species: Loricaria lima Kner, 1853  ZBK  .

Holotype: NMW probably lost ( Isbrücker, 1979), from Brazil according to Natterer. 

Gender: feminine.

This genus, by far the most speciose in Loricariinae  , is widely distributed on nearly the entire subcontinent, from Costa Rica to Argentina, on both slopes of the Andes. The species inhabit an extremely diverse array of environments. Sexual dimorphism includes hypertrophied development of the odontodes along the sides of the head, on the pectoral spines and rays, and predorsal area of mature males. Several species also show hypertrophied development of the odontodes on the entire caudal peduncle. Rineloricaria  ZBK  are cavity brooders (pers. obs.). Numerous eggs (often more than 100) are laid attached to one another in single layer masses on the cavity floor, and are brooded by males. Rineloricaria  ZBK  exhibit high levels of karyotypic diversity with chromosome numbers ranging from 2n = 36 to 2n = 70 in the five species characterized (Kavalco et al. 2005). These authors also described, according to Giuliano-Cataneo (1998), a Robertsonian polymorphism between several populations of R. latirostris  , with a variation of 2n = 36 to 2n = 48 chromosomes. If the loss of the holotype of R. lima  is confirmed, a neotype must be designated in order to permit all the necessary clarifications for a detailed and much needed revision of this genus. The characters given by Kner (1853), although very detailed, are valid for almost all congeneric species. Without the type locality, it is presently impossible to decide which species represents R. lima  . Isbrücker & Nijssen (1976a) and Isbrücker (1981a) proposed the revalidation of Hemiloricaria Bleecker, 1862  ZBK  (type species: Hemiloricaria caracasensis  ZBK  ), but they finally left it in the synonymy of Rineloricaria  ZBK  because of the lack of sufficient features to split these two genera. In 2001, Isbrücker et al. revalidated Hemiloricaria  ZBK  and created two new genera: Fonchiiichthys  ZBK  (type species: Loricaria uracantha  ZBK  ) and Leliella  ZBK  (type species: Rineloricaria heteroptera  ZBK  ) on the basis of subtle differences in the sexual dimorphism. These characters are expressed only during the spawning period and are outweighed by other shared characters used to diagnose Rineloricaria  ZBK  . Moreover, as specified by Isbrücker & Nijssen (1976a: pp. 110-111) in the description of R. heteroptera  ZBK  : “As in Spatuloricaria Schultz, 1944  ZBK  it shows strong secondary sexual dimorphism: males develop ‘bristles’ along sides of snout, usually also on dorsum of pectoral fin spine and rays, and often dorsum of head, on post-occipital and predorsal scutes. There are specific differences in the development of male bristles”. Following this interpretation, the characters given to define Leliella  ZBK  and Fonchiiichthys  ZBK  can be regarded as species specific characters. Herein, Hemiloricaria  ZBK  , Leliella  ZBK  , and Fonchiiichthys  ZBK  are considered as synonyms of Rineloricaria  ZBK  for lack of sufficient diagnostic features. Forty nine valid species are assigned to this genus considering Ferraris (2003), Knaack (2003), and Rodríguez & Miquelarena (2005).


Austria, Wien, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien