Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
The genus Rineloricaria Bleeker, 1862 ZBK , is probably the most speciose and that for which taxonomy is least resolved among the Loricariinae (Reis & Cardoso, 2001). A comprehensive evaluation of this morphologically diverse and widely distributed group is needed to delimit the recognizable species and more accurately circumscribe their geographic distributions.
In general, Rineloricaria ZBK species are small and exhibit sexual dimorphism in the form of hypertrophied development of odontodes on the sides of the head and on pectoral fins of males. The wide distributional range, extending from Costa Rica (Ferraris, 2003) to the Río de La Plata in Argentina, coupled with an adaptive capacity enabling many species to exploit the most varied habitats, explain the successful history of Rineloricaria ZBK . Some species, such as R. strigilata (Hensel, 1868) , have been caught in highly polluted waterbodies and represent some of the main components of the ichthyological diversity in such habitats (Flores-Lopes et al, 2001).
Isbrücker (2001) relocated several species of Rineloricaria ZBK to the genus Hemiloricaria Bleeker, 1862 ZBK , based on a few external morphological and sexually dimorphic characters. Ferraris (2003) recognized only Rineloricaria ZBK as valid comprising more than 45 nominal species.
Eight species of Rineloricaria ZBK have been reported to occur in Argentina: R. lima (Kner, 1854) , R. catamarcensis (Berg, 1895) , R. microlepidogaster (Regan, 1904) , R. felipponei (Fowler, 1943) , R. thrissoceps (Fowler, 1943) , R. pareiacantha (Fowler, 1943) , R. parva (Boulenger, 1895) , and R. lanceolata ( Guenther , 1868) . The last two species were recognized by López et al. (2003) within the genus Hemiloricaria ZBK .