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Introduction

The combination of species traditionally placed in Bunocephalus and transferred to Dysichthys by Mees (1989) are a paraphyletic group. Friel (1994) attempted to make Bunocephalus monophyletic by transferring some species into "Pseudobunocephalus" and Pterobunocephalus. Although no unambiguous characters support the monophyly of Bunocephalus, no evidence exists that any of the species maintained in this genus share a more recent common ancestor with species placed in any of the other genera.

Bunocephalus is the largest genus within the Aspredinidae and in addition to the valid species listed above there are several undescribed species. Bunocephalus has the widest distribution of any aspredinid genus (Magdalena, Orinoco, Amazon, Paraguay-Paraná & São Francisco) and is the only genus with members west of the Andes (Atrato, San Juan & Patia).

Bunocephalus coracoideus, illustrated above, is the most common aspredinid species you might encounter in the ornamental fish trade.

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