Observation of the catfish Chaetostoma microps climbing in a cave in Tena, Ecuador
Hoese, G., Addison, A., Toulkeridis, T. and Toomey, R.
As part of a mapping and preliminary flora and fauna inventory of hypogean life in caves, developed in Cretaceous limestones in the sub-andean zone of Ecuador, we were able to observe a number of catfish climbing a steep flowstone waterfall in the dark zone of a cave. The waterfall was a minor infeeder to the small stream that flowed through the cave. On investigation the fish were determined to be Chaetostoma microps Günther, 1864 (Siluriformes Loricariidae), a detritivorous–herbivorous neotropical freshwater catfish, endemic to the upper reaches of the Amazon basin in Ecuador. We document the observation of this species exhibiting climbing behavior as well as the first observation of the family exhibiting climbing behavior in a cave. We also document the sympatry of this species and Astroblepus pholeter Collette, 1962 (Siluriformes Astroblepidae).
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