Comprehensive Description

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Apistoloricaria Isbruecker & Nijssen, 1986 ZBK .

Type species: Apistoloricaria condei Isbruecker & Nijssen, 1986 ZBK .

Holotype : FMNH 94683 , Ecuador , Rio Napo drainage, mouth of Rio Tiputini .

Gender: feminine.

Representatives of this genus are distributed in the upper Amazon and Orinoco drainages, along the Atlantic slope of the Andes. They inhabit sand substrates and are morphologically adapted to this habitat. As with other representatives of the Pseudohemiodon ZBK group, their body is strongly depressed and the pelvic fins are used for locomotion, enabling these fish to appear to “walk” on the substrate. Sexual dimorphism is apparent through differentiated lip structure. The lip surfaces of the male are rather papillose while those of the female are filamentous(Nijssen & Isbrücker 1988). These taxa are abdomino-lip brooders. Eggs are laid in a single layered mass, and are attached to the surface of the lower lip and abdomen of the male. Isbrücker & Nijssen (1986a) described the biotope of A. condei ZBK according to D. J. Stewart’s field notes. This species was collected in turbid and dark waters, in moderately fast flowing streams, between 2 to 10 meters deep. No submerged vegetation was noted, and the bottom was made of sand, mud, dead leaves, twigs, branches, and trunks. Apistoloricaria ZBK is not well diagnosed and upon further examination, may prove to be a synonym of Rhadinoloricaria ZBK . These two genera are distinguished primarily by the presence or absence of the iris operculum (absent or vestigial in Apistoloricaria ZBK versus present in Rhadinoloricaria ZBK ), a more conspicuous rostrum in Rhadinoloricaria ZBK , and by the number of fringed barbels (14 in Apistoloricaria ZBK versus 12 in Rhadinoloricaria ZBK ). Four valid species are recognized (Ferraris 2003) and a key to the species is available in Nijssen & Isbrücker (1988).

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