It is possible that this species was first seen by Alexander Von Humboldt (1805) and described as Pimelodus cyclopum (Nico 2001) (See also Romero and Paulson 2001).
Holotype: USNM 196623 female 62mm SL. Paratypes: USNM 196671 male 64mm SL, female 66mm SL, FMNH 63855 female 57mm SL.
Type locality: Jumandi Cave, Archidona, Napo Province, Ecuador (0o30’S, 78o00’W). Known also from xxxxxxxxxx (Hoese, Addison, Toulkeridis and Toomey 2015).
Jumandi Cave consists of a vadose stream passage 800m in length with a further 400m of side passages. The stream rises from a sump, flows through the cave, falls over a waterfall 0.8m high, and resurges from the cave mouth. Water temperature is 15o‑20oC, pH neutral, and water medium hard. The other aquatic species to be commonly seen are a characin fish Creagrutus muleri, a prawn Machrobrachium brasiliense, and nymphs of a mayfly Euthyplocia. The last of these provide the bulk of the diet of A. pholeter (Brown 1981; Hanson 1981; Brown and Hanson 1981). Sket (1985) records the amphipod Bogidiella gammariformis.
Collette (1962:313) states that A. pholeter is very different from all other known species of Astroblepus. However, some of the differences he cites (reduced pigment and eyes and increased barbel length) are simply related to a cave‑dwelling existence (stygomorphic characters) and provide no help in elucidating the relationships of the species. In other characteristics (long filaments on dorsal and anal fins, long pelvic fins, and a barbel on the nasal flap) it superficially resembles A. longifilis. It differs from this species by possessing (at least in the type series) a distinct adipose spine and in lacking an adipose ridge between dorsal and caudal fins. The adipose spine, however, poses a question since none of the animals observed by Hanson (1981) possessed one. This difference is so far unexplained.
(Jimenez-Prado and Arguello 2016. Astroblepus pholeter. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016.http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T49830520A64844937.en. Downloaded on 02 July 2017).The species has a restricted range and probably is affected by habitat modification produced by cropland, livestock, dams and urbanization. It therefore probably qualifies for classification in a threatened category under criterion B1b(iii). However, at present the lack of precise field data, largely concerning severity of population fragmentation and number of locations, impedes determination of the appropriate category (Endangered). It is therefore classified as Near Threatened.
As above plus: BMNH.
- Humboldt, F. H. A. (1805)
- Collette, B. B. (1962)
- Chardon, M. (1966)
- Chardon, M. (1968)
- Balazs, D. (1972)
- Balazs, D. (1974)
- Montoriol-Pons, J. (1976)
- Sket, B. (1979)
- Hanson, P. D. (1981)
- Brown, P. and Hanson, P.D. (1981)
- Brown, P (1981)
- Sket, B. (1985)
- Peck, S. B. (1985)
- Peck, S. B. (1994)
- Nico, LG (2001)
- Romero, A. and Paulson, K.M. (2001)
- Schaefer, SA and Buitrago-Suarez, UA (2002)
- Haspel, G., Schwartz, A., Streets, A., Camacho, D. E. and Soares, D. (2012)
- Haspel, G., Schwartz, A. and Soares, D. (2012)
- Spadella, Maria Angelica, Oliveira, Claudio, Ortega, Hernan, Quagio-Grassiotto, Irani and Burns, John R. (2012)
- Hoese, G, Addison, A, Toulkeridis, T and Toomey, R (2015)
- Robinson, J (2017)
|Humboldt, F. H. A.||Book Section||1805||IVe Memoire, sur une nouvelle espece de Pimelode, jetee par les volcans du Royaume de Quito|
|Collette, B. B.||Journal Article||1962||Astroblepus pholeter, a new species of cave-dwelling catfish from eastern Ecuador|
|Chardon, M.||Journal Article||1966||Specialisation anatomique de l'appareil de Weber d'Astroblepus pholeter, Silure cavernicole microphthalme de la Republique de l'Equateur|
|Chardon, M.||Journal Article||1968||Anatomie comparee de l'appareil de Weber et des structures connexes chez les Siluriformes|
|Balazs, D.||Journal Article||1972||The Jumandi Caves of Ecuador|
|Balazs, D.||Journal Article||1974||The Jumandi Caves of Ecuador|
|Montoriol-Pons, J.||Journal Article||1976||[A note on the Jumandi Cave (Archidona, Napo Province)]|
|Sket, B.||Journal Article||1979||[Fauna in the Caverna de Jumandi]|
|Hanson, P. D.||Book Section||1981||The aquatic fauna|
|Brown, P. and Hanson, P.D.||Journal Article||1981||The Jumandi Cave of Ecuador|
|Brown, P||Report||1981||Southampton University expedition to Ecuador 1979|
|Sket, B.||Journal Article||1985||Bogidiella (s.l.) gammariformis sp. n. (Amphipoda) from Ecuador|
|Peck, S. B.||Journal Article||1985||The invertebate fauna of the tropical American caves. Part 6:Jumandi Cave, Ecuador|
|Peck, S. B.||Book Section||1994||Ecuador|
|Nico, LG||Journal Article||2001||Alexander Von Humboldt (1769-1859): Contributions to knowledge of New World fishes|
|Romero, A. and Paulson, K.M.||Journal Article||2001||Humbodt's alleged subterranean fish from Ecuador|
|Schaefer, SA and Buitrago-Suarez, UA||Journal Article||2002||Odontode morphology and skin surface features of Andean astroblepid catfishes (Siluriformes, Astroblepidae)|
|Haspel, G., Schwartz, A., Streets, A., Camacho, D. E. and Soares, D.||Journal Article||2012||By the teeth of their skin, cavefish find their way|
|Haspel, G., Schwartz, A. and Soares, D.||Journal Article||2012||Unique mechanosensory adaptation to extreme environments in cavefish|
|Spadella, Maria Angelica, Oliveira, Claudio, Ortega, Hernan, Quagio-Grassiotto, Irani and Burns, John R.||Journal Article||2012||Male and female reproductive morphology in the inseminating genus Astroblepus (Ostariophysi: Siluriformes: Astroblepidae)|
|Hoese, G, Addison, A, Toulkeridis, T and Toomey, R||Journal Article||2015||Observation of the catfish Chaetostoma microps climbing in a cave in Tena, Ecuador|
|Robinson, J||Journal Article||2017||Astroblepus pholeter: Convergent regressive evolution of the mc1r gene in cavefish species|