Two new species of fish has been scientifically described and named: Glyptothorax filicatus and Glyptothorax strabonis. The genus Glyptothorax is a part of the family Sisoridae in the catfish order Siluriformes, and the most species-rich and widely distributed genus of the entire family.

The new species both hail from Vietnam and were described by Heok Hee Ng[1] and Jörg Freyhof[2]. Glyptothorax species typically live in fast flowing hillstreams or faster-flowing stretches of larger rivers, and the two new species are no exceptions – they have both been described from the rivers draining the Annam Cordilleras in central Vietnam.

Glyptothorax filicatus can be distinguished from its close relatives in Indochina on the diverging pattern of striae that runs along the edges of the central depression in the thoracic adhesive apparatus, while Glyptothorax strabonis is recognized on its very small eyes.

As an adaptation to a life in fast moving waters, members of the Glyptothorax all have an adhesive apparatus on the body, commonly known as a “sucker”. An adhesive apparatus comes in handy when you live in fast flowing waters since it makes it possible to “suck” yourself to a surface, e.g. a rock, and avoid being swept away by the current. Members of the genus Glyptothorax are equipped with an adhesive apparatus on the thorax with grooves parallel or oblique to the longitudinal axis of the body. This separates them from the other genera in the family since those fishes have no thoracic adhesive apparatus at all or a thoracic adhesive apparatus with grooves that runs transverse to the longitudinal axis of body.


[1] Fish Division, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 1109 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1079, USA. E-mail: heokheen@umich.edu Current address: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 6 Science Drive 2, Singapore 117456. E-mail: Email: dbsnhh@nus.edu.sg

[2] Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei, Müggelseedamm 310, 12561 Berlin, Germany. Email: freyhof@igb-berlin.de