A Century after! Rediscovery of the ancient catfish Diplomystes Bleeker 1858 (Siluriformes: Diplomystidae) in coastal river basins of Chile and its implications for conservation
Muñoz Ramírez, Carlos P.
PublisherSociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia
DescriptionArtículo de publicación ISI
MetadataShow full item record
The ancient catfish family Diplomystidae, with seven species endemic to rivers of southern South America, represents one of the oldest branches of the diverse order Siluriformes. With most species endangered, new reports of these species become extremely valuable for conservation. Currently, it is assumed that Diplomystes species inhabit only Andean (large) basins, and that they are extinct from coastal (small) basins from which their presence have not been recorded since 1919. Here, we document new records of the family Diplomystidae in the Laraquete and Carampangue basins, two coastal basins from the Nahuelbuta Coast Range, Chile, with no previous reports. This finding represents the rediscovery of the genus in coastal basins in more than a Century. Based on analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences, the collected specimens were found to be closely related to Diplomystes nahuelbutaensis from the Andean Biobío Basin, but sufficiently differentiated to suggest that coastal basin populations are a different management unit. These populations are important because, contrary to previous thoughts, they prove these catfish can survive in small river networks, providing unique opportunities for research and conservation. The conservation category of Critically Endangered (CE) is recommended for the populations from the Laraquete and Carampangue basins.