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Comprehensive Description

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Erethistidae Bleeker, 1862

Externally, erethistids are easily distinguished from sisorids by having a pectoral girdle with a long coracoid process that extends well beyond the base of the pectoral fin (Fig. 1). The process can be felt through the skin in all erethistids and is visible externally in all erethistids except some specimens of Pseudolaguvia ZBK . Sisorids lack a prominent coracoid process ; when present, the process is only detectable as a small nub at the base of the pectoral fin. It is never long and prominent as in erethistids. Amblycipitids differ from erethistids in possessing a cuplike fold of skin in front of the pectoral fin, and a dorsal fin that is covered with thick skin and has only a weak spine. Erethistids lack a cuplike fold of skin in front of the pectoral fin, and have a dorsal fin with a strong spine and no thick covering of skin (de Pinna 1996). Akysids, including Parakysidae of Roberts, 1989, differ from erethistids in having the nostrils on each side of the head widely separated, with a barbel on the posterior nostril. Erethistids have nostrils close together, separated by a nasal barbel. Osteological traits distinguishing Amblycipitidae and Akysidae from erethistids are given by de Pinna (1996). Following are diagnoses and descriptions of valid genera of Erethistidae , with lists of included species and their geographic distributions. Genera are arranged alphabetically. Diagnostic traits are summarized in Table 2.

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