A new subfamily has been created within the catfish family Loricariidae, the largest family of catfish and currently home to over 700 described species. The new subfamily has been named Otothyrinae and its members include the genera Corumbataia, Epactionotus, Eurycheilichthys, Hisonotus, Microlepidogaster, Otothyris, Otothyropsis, Parotocinclus, Pseudotothyris, and Schizolecis.

The new subfamily was named in a study published in the latest issue of the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution[1]. Juan Montoya-Burgos, Márcio Chiachio and Claudio Oliveira – the researchers behind the article – have studied the molecular phylogeny of the subfamilies Hypoptopomatinae and Neoplecostominae in the family Loricariidae. They decided to name a new subfamily after taking a closer look at the phylogeny of the fish using a partial sequence of the nuclear F-reticulon4 gene.

In addition to the nuclear F-reticulon4 gene, Burgos, Chiachio and Oliviera used morphological evidence to decide which catfish species that should be placed in the new subfamily, and the study has also examined the historical biogeography of the group.

[1] Chiachio, MC, C Oliveira and JI Montoya-Burgos (2008) Molecular systematic [sic.] and historical biogeography of the armored Neotropical catfishes Hypoptopomatinae and Neoplecostominae (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49, pp. 606–617.