A new Moenkhausia (Characiformes: Characidae) from central Brazil, with comments on the area relationship between the upper rio Tapajós and upper rio Paraguai systems

Flávio C. T. Lima, Heraldo A. Britski and Francisco A. Machado

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 45-54, Volume 13, Issue 2 – 08 November 2007

A new species of Moenkhausia is described from the rio Juba, tributary of the rio Sepotuba (upper rio Paraguai basin), the rio Juruena and its tributary, the rio Papagaio (upper rio Tapajós basin), Mato Grosso state, Brazil. The new species’ most remarkable feature is a unique colour pattern in live specimens, which combines eyes that are bright blue on the lower half and bright green (with a bright golden tinge) on the upper half, red pigmentation on the upper lip and a transparent opercle which allows a view of the pinkish red gill filaments. The new species is apparently related to the group containing Moenkhausia oligolepis and M. sanctaefilomenae, which is also hypothesized to include M. pyrophthalma, M. diktyota and M. cotinho. The occurrence of Moenkhausia cosmops in both the headwaters of the upper rio Juruena (rio Tapajós basin) and upper rio Paraguai is congruent with other fish taxa and is indicative that a river capture has recently taken place in the area. 

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