Comprehensive Description

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Spatuloricaria Schultz, 1944 ZBK .

Type species: Spatuloricaria phelpsi Schultz, 1944 ZBK .

Holotype : USNM 121121 , Venezuela , Rio Socuy .

Gender: feminine.

This genus is distributed in the northwestern part of the subcontinent, in drainages of the Pacific and Atlantic Slopes of the Andes. Several species occur also in the upper Amazon River basin, upper Paraguay, and São Francisco River basins. Ecological data are unavailable and reproductive biology is unknown. Sexual dimorphism includes hypertrophied development of claw-like odontodes along the sides of the head and on the pectoral spines in mature males. Spatuloricaria ZBK is in need of revision, as species boundaries and distributions are poorly known. The phylogenetic position of Spatuloricaria ZBK remains uncertain. Rapp Py-Daniel (1997) placed Spatuloricaria ZBK at the base of a clade including representatives of the Loricaria ZBK and Pseudohemiodon ZBK groups. Its dentition, with few teeth on the premaxillae, and its abdominal cover consisting of minute disjointed platelets resembles that of some representatives of the Loricaria ZBK group. Conversely, the papillose surface of the lips and sexually dimorphic features are more characteristic of the Rineloricaria ZBK group. Eleven valid species are currently recognized (Ferraris 2003).


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