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New species of Moenkhausia Eigenmann (Characiformes: Characidae) from Rio Xingu and Rio Tapajós basins, Brazil, with comments on a putative case of polymorphic Batesian mimicry

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A new species of Moenkhausia is described from Rio Xingu and Rio Tapajós basins, Brazil. The new species is distinguished from its congeners, except from Moenkhausia moisae, by having more scales in the lateral series, 43–47 (v. 23–41 in the remaining congeners). The new species is distinguished from M. moisae by its colour pattern, which consists of a dark midlateral stripe, and an asymmetrical caudal blotch (inconspicuous or faded in specimens from the Rio Arinos) continuous with the midlateral stripe (v. narrow dark midlateral line and conspicuous, regularly rounded and symmetrical blotch not continuous with the midlateral line). The new species is putatively assumed to be mimetic to Jupiaba apenima, in the Rio Xingu and Rio Teles Pires drainages, and to Jupiaba yarina in the Rio Arinos. The two species of Jupiaba are sympatric and remarkably similar in size, general external morphology and colouration to the new species. A small difference occurs in the colouration between the two species of Jupiaba and is also observed in the two respectively sympatric morphotypes of the new species of Moenkhausia. The occurrence of polymorphic Batesian mimicry is therefore discussed for neotropical freshwater fishes.

Keywords: Jupiaba; neotropical fish; taxonomy

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 42494, 04218-970, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Publication date: December 1, 2009


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