Trichomycterus rosablanca (Siluriformes, Trichomycteridae) a new species of hipogean
catfish from the Colombian Andes
Mesa S., L.M., Lasso, C.A., Ochoa, L.E. and DoNascimiento, C.
Trichomycterus rosablanca is described as a new troglobitic catfish species from caves in southeastern Santander, Colombia. These caves are drained by the Carare River of the Magdalena River basin. The new species is characterized by the advanced condition in the typical troglomorphisms found in other congeneric cave-dwelling species, such as absence of eyes and pigmentation. Trichomycterus rosablanca is diagnosed by the following putative autapomorphies: 1) presence of a circular foramen in the main body of the interopercle, dorsal to the interopercular plate supporting the odontodes, and 2) presence
of a single sensory pore in the posteriormost section of the infraorbital canal. Trichomycterus rosablanca can be distinguished from all known Trichomycterus species from Colombia by having the supraorbital canal interrupted in the nasal section, resulting in the pattern of s1, s2, s3, and s6 sensory pores, and the lachrimal/antorbital bone not enclosing the anteriormost section of the infraorbital canal. The genetic distinctiveness of Trichomycterus rosablanca is confirmed by GMYC and genetic distance method analyses
of the cytochrome C oxidase subunit I gene sequence. The description of this species places Colombia as the second most diverse country in the continent in terms of number of cave fish species and calls the attention on the conservation efforts needed to guarantee the permanence of this remarkable diversity of hypogean fishes.
Keywords. Cave fish. Karstic. Middle Magdalena River basin. Santander.