Descriptions of a New Genus and Four New Species of Freshwater Catfishes (Plotosidae) from Australia

Gerald R. Allen and M. N. Feinberg

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 9-18, Volume 3, Issue 1 – April 1998


A new genus and four new species of plostosid catfishes are described from fresh waters of Australia. Neosiluroides, new genus, differs from all other plotosid genera by the possession of two, apparently derived, characters, namely a thick epidermal covering around the posterior nostril, which forms an outer chamber, and a peculiar skin structure, consisting of a dense covering of minute papillae. In addition, it is separable from nearly all other Australian and New Guinean freshwater catfishes by its high vertebral count. The genus contains a single member, N. cooperensis, new species, which is described from 32 specimens, 167-346.5 mm SL, from the Cooper Creek system of north-eastern South Australia and adjacent south-western Queensland. Neosilurus gloveri, new species, is described from 64 specimens, 36-84 mm SL, collected from warm artesian pools at Dalhousie Springs in the desert of northern South Australia. It grows to a maximum size of about 84 mm SL. It is the smallest member of the family and is further characterised by 38-42 total vertebrae, 14-16 total gill rakers on the first branchial arch, 7-9 soft pectoral rays, and 7-8 branch- iostegal rays. Neosilurus pseudospinosus, new species, is described from 279 specimens, 24-333 mm SL, collected from the Kimberley region of north-western Australia. It is closely related to N. mollespiculum, new species, which is described from 11 specimens, 39-345 mm SL, collected from the Burdekin River sy-stem of north-eastern Queensland. Both resemble N. ater of northern Australia and southern New Guinea, but differ in having lower gill raker counts and soft, flexible dorsal and pectoral fin spines. N. pseudospinosus differs from N. mollespiculum primarily in having a greater average number of procurrent caudal rays, a slightly shorter dorsal-caudal fin base, and a longer nasal barbel.

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