Eigenmannia vicentespelaea

Triques 1996







Holotype: MZUSP 42605, 114.9mm SL. Paratype: MZUSP 47984, 157.4mm SL.


Type locality: Gruta Sao Vicente II, Rio Sao Vicente system, Rio Tocantins basin, Sao Domingos, Goias, Brazil (13o35’00”S, 46o22’30”W). Known also from Sao Vicente I part of the same cave system.


Slow moving water up to 2m deep, with silt and clay bottom (M. E. Bichuette pers. comm.).


No details provided by Triques (1996). Peixoto, Dutra and Wosiacki (2015) include this species, together with 10 other species, in the Eigenmannia trilineata species-group.

A thorough review of dorsolateral head musculature of Neotropical Gymnotiformes (Peixooto and De Pinna 2022) suggets that the genus Eigenmannia is polyphyletic with three groups of species:

Group 1: E. muirapinima and E.vicentespelaea

Group 2: E. humboldtii, E. limbata, E. nigra, E. pavulagem, and E. sp. “ventuari

Group 3: E. antonioi, E. besouro, E. desantanai, E. guairaca, E. matintaperera, E. macrops, E. meeki, E. microstoma, E. sayona, E. trilineata, E. virescens, and E. waiwai

Groups 2 and 3 are more closely related to other genera that they are to group 1 containing E. vicentespelaea.

Conservation Status

[NE] [VU D2:3.1:2011]

"Eigenmannia vicentespelaea is endemic and known only from a cave system: St. Vincent (caves of St. Vincent I: 13 ° 35 30 S, 46 ° 21 00 W and St. Vincent II: 13 ° 35 00 S, 46 ° 24 00 W), municipality of São Domingos, Goiás, Brazil. It is estimated that less than 10 km2 occurs and consequently, an area of ​​lesser occupation, since the species occupies specific microhabitats (backwaters with sand bottoms at depths of up to 2 m). Although it is found inside a Conservation Unit, the Terra Ronca State Park (PETER), the sources of the São Vicente River lie outside the park. Although there is no evidence of a decline in the area of ​​occupation or even of habitat quality, this region is subject to annual deforestation and forest fires for plantations and pastures, with destruction of the riparian forest, which can cause silting of the river and decrease of food supply in the São Vicente system. Therefore, Eigenmannia vicentespelaea was categorized as Vulnerable (VU) by criterion D2. It is necessary to intensify the inspection around the park and protect the springs of the rivers that form the cave systems of PETER, incorporating them in the area of ​​this."

Museum Holdings

As above plus: MZUSP 83461,3 + 1CS, 108–164.5 mm SL, MZUSP 55989, 2, 109.2–110.9 mm SL, MZUSP 83462, 2, 117.2–121.9 mm SL, MZUSP 83463, 1CS, 118.9 mm SL, MZUSP 83464, 1, 161.6 mm SL. MZUSP 83465, 2, 106.2–109.2 mm SL, MZUSP 83466, 1, 119.0 mm SL, MZUSP 83467, 3, 109.7–123.3 mm SL, MZUSP 83468, 3, 81.6–116.2 mm SL, MZUSP 83469, 1, 112.1 mm SL. MZUSP 83470, 3, 83.6–95.6 mm SL, MZUSP 83471, 1CS, 106.7 mm SL (Peixoto, Dutra and Wosiacki 2015).

Key References

Trajano, E. and de Souza, A. M. Journal Article 1994 Behaviour of Ancistrus cryptophthalmus an armoured blind catfish from caves of central Brazil, with notes on syntopic Trichomycterus sp. (Siluriformes, Loricariidae, Trichomycteridae)
Triques, ML Journal Article 1996 Eigenmannia vicentespelaea, a new species of cave dwelling electrogenic neotropical fish (Ostariophysi: Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae)
Bichuette, M.E. Journal Article 2001 Populational study and compared behaviour of Eigenmannia species from Goias, Central Brazil (Ostariophysi: Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae)
Albert, J.S. Journal Article 2001 Species diversity and phylogenetic systematics of American knifefishes (Gymnotiformes, Teleostei).
Fernandez, L. and Bichuette, M.E. Journal Article 2002 A new cave dwelling species of Ituglanis from the Sao Domingos karst, central Brazil (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae)
Reis, R.E., Kullander, S.O. and Ferraris, C.J. Book 2003 Checklist of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America
Bichuette, M.E. and Trajano, E Journal Article 2003 Epigean and subterranean ichthyofauna from the Sao Domingos karst area, Upper Tocantins River basin, central Brazil
Bichuette, M.E. Thesis 2003 Distribuicao, biologia, ecologia populacional e comportamento de peixes subterraneos, generos Ituglanis (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) e Eigenmannia (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) da area carstica de Sao Domingos, nordeste de Goias
Moyses, C.B., Mockford, S., Almeida-Toledo, F. and Wright, J.M. Journal Article 2005 Nine polymorphic microsatellite loci in the Neotropical electric eel Eigenmannia (Teeleostei: Gymnotiformes)
Bichuette, M.E. and Trajano, E. Journal Article 2006 Morphology and distribution of the cave knifefish Eigenmannia vicentespelaea Triques, 1996 (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) from central Brazil, with expanded diagnosis and comments on subterranean evolution
Bichuette, M.E. Book Section 2008 Eigenmannia vicentespelaea Triques 1996
Bichuette, M.E. and Trajano, E. Journal Article 2015 Population density and habitat of an endangered cave fish Eigenmannia vicentespelaea Triques, 1996 (Ostariophysi: Gymnotiformes) from a karst area in central Brazil
Peixoto, L.A.W., Dutra, G.M. and Wosiacki, W.B. Journal Article 2015 The Electric Glass Knifefishes of the Eigenmannia trilineata species-group (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae): monophyly and description of seven new species
Trajano, E., Gallao, J.E. and Bichuette, M.E. Journal Article 2016 Spots of high biodiversity of troglobites in Brazil: the challenge of measuring subterranean diversity
Ferraris, C.J., de Santana, C.D. and Vari, R.P. Journal Article 2017 Checklist of Gymnotiformes (Osteichthyes: Ostariophysi) and catalogue of primary types
Fortune, E., Andanar, N., Madhav, M., Jayakumar, R., Cowan, N., Bichuette, M.L. and Soares, D. Journal Article 2017 Differences in electromotor behaviors in blind electric cavefish and their surface relatives
Bichuette, M.E. and Trajano, E. Journal Article 2017 Biology and behavior of Eigenmannia vicentespelaea, a troglobitic electric fish from Brazil (Teleostei: Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae): a comparison to the epigean species, E. trilineata, and the consequences of cave life
Waltz, B.T. and Albert, J.S. Journal Article 2018 Family Sternopygidae - Glass knifefishes, Rattail knifefishes
Gallão, J.E. and Bichuette M.E. Journal Article 2018 Brazilian obligatory subterranean fauna and threats to the hypogean environment
Lin, R., Ge, J., Tran, P., Alberto Perea, L., Toole, R. and Fok, M.P. Journal Article 2018 Biomimetic photonics: jamming avoidance system in Eigenmannia
Soares, D., Andanar, N., Madhav, M., Jayakumar, R., Cowan, N., Bichuette, B. and Fortune, E.S. Conference Paper 2019 Differences in electrosocial behavior in troglobitic and epigean Eigenmannia
Peixoto, L.A.W. and Ohara, W.M. Journal Article 2019 A new species of Eigenmannia Jordan & Evermann (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) from rio Tapajo´s, Brazil, with discussion on its species group and the myology within Eigenmanniinae
Crampton, W.G.R. Journal Article 2019 Electroreception, electrogenesis and electric signal evolution
Fortune, E.S., Andanar, N., Madhav, M., Jayakumar, R., Cowan, N.J., Bichuette, M.E. and Soares, D. Journal Article 2019 Spooky interaction at a distance in cave and surface dwelling electric fishes
Waltz, B.T. Thesis 2019 Systematics and evolution of the Glass Knifefishes Eigenmannia (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae): Cryptic diversity in a morphologically-conserved group
Bichuette, M.E., Simões, L.B., Zepon, T., von Schimonsky, D.M. and Gallão, J.E. Journal Article 2019 Richness and taxonomic distinctness of cave invertebrates from the northeastern state of Goiás, central Brazil: a vulnerable and singular area
Dutra, G.M., Peixoto, L.A.W., Abrahão, V.P., Wosiacki, W.B., Menezes, N.A. and de Santana, C.D. Journal Article 2021 Morphology-based phylogeny of Eigenmanniinae Mago-Leccia 1978 (Teleostei: Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae), with a new classification.
Peixoto, L.A.W., Pastana, M.N.L. and Ballen, G.A. Journal Article 2021 New species of glass knifefish genus Eigenmannia (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) with comments on the morphology and function of the enlarged cephalic lateral-line canals of Sternopygidae
Peixoto, L.A.W. and de Pinna, M. Journal Article 2022 Patterns of diversification and phylogenetic structure in the dorsolateral head musculature of Neotropical electric eels (Ostariophysi: Gymnotiformes), with a myological synonymy
Soares, D. Conference Paper 2022 Evolutionary insights and constraints from the nervous systems and behavior of cavefish
Ford, K.L. and Albert, J.S. Journal Article 2022 Is the medium the message? Functional diversity across abiotic gradients in freshwater electric fishes. Electric fish functional diversity
Araya-Jaime, C.A., Mazzoni Zerbinato de Andrade Silva, D., Ribeiro da Silva, L.R., Neves do Nascimento, C., Oliveira, C., Foresti, F. Journal Article 2022 Karyotype description and comparative chromosomal mapping of rDNA and U2 snDNA sequences in Eigenmannia limbata and E. microstoma (Teleostei, Gymnotiformes, Sternopygidae)
Soares, D., Gallman, K., Bichuette, M.E. and Fortune, E.S. Journal Article 2023 Adaptive shift of active electroreception in weakly electric fish for troglobitic life