Pimelodella kronei

(Miranda Ribeiro 1907) Pavan 1946

Pimelodella kronei
Illustration from Eigemann (1917)


Typhlobagrus kronei  Miranda Ribeiro 1907

Pimelodella lateristriga var. kronei  Haseman 1911

Caecorhamdella brasiliensis  Borodin 1927




Holotype: MNRJ 836. Paratypes: 35 specimens, location unknown.


Type locality: Areias de Cima, Areias System, Iporanga County, Upper Rio Ribeira Valley, São Paulo, Brazil (24o35’S, 48o35’W). Known also from Bombas resurgence, Águas Quentes and Córrego Seco caves on the right side of the Rio Betari and from Alambari de Cima and Gurutuva caves on the left bank of the same river (Trajano 1991a, 1997d). Most of these caves are within the boundaries of the Parque Estadual Turistico do Alto Ribeira (PETAR).


Base level open channel vadose rocky steams with silty pools (Trajano 1997c,d; 2001a).


The sister species of P. kronei is Pimelodella transitoria, which is common in the surface streams of the area as well as being a successful troglophile. Both of these species retain many character states from their common ancestor. Trajano and Britski (1992) hypothesise an allopatric origin for the cave species, which would have been isolated in subterranean habitats during glacial, drier, periods when the local drainage would be interrupted by the lowering of the local base (phreatic) level.

Conservation Status

[DD:2.3:1996] [EN B2ab(ii,iii):3.1:2011]

(World Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1996. Pimelodella kronei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species1996: Downloaded on 14 July 2017).

Pimelodella kronei is endemic to Brazil and inhabits streams in caves in the Upper Ribeira region, southeast of the State of São Paulo. It is found in seven caves, some inside the Upper Ribeira State Tourist Park, which represent two locations. The occupation area is less than 20km2. The main threats are pollution caused by domestic sewage and soap at one location and the presence of heavy metals from past mining activity at the other location. These activities have caused a decrease in the quality of the habitat and the area of occupation, since the species was no longer found in the caves Alambari de Cima and Córrego Seco. The species was classified as Endangered (EN), by criterion B2ab (ii, iii). The effective prohibition of visitation in the caves of the Areias and Alambari de Cima System, which should also be included in the area of the Park, is essential. [Google Translate].

No specimens of the populations from Alambari de Cima and Gurutuva caves, on the left bank of the Betari River, have been seen for 15 years. It is possible that these populations may be extinct, or critically reduced, as a consequence of pollution events in the mid 1980’s (E. Trajano pers. comm.). Threats to populations on the right bank include poorly controlled tourism.

Museum Holdings

AMNH 8604 145mm TL, holotype of Caecorhamdella brasiliensis. FMNH 58293 3 specimens collected by Haseman. FMNH 58443 26 specimens collected by Haseman. MZUSP 36.499 and 36.511 (Pavan, 1946). MZUSP 22.196, 22.581, 24.383, 27.168, 27.169, 27.170, 36.499, 38.726, 38.727, 38.728, 38.729, 38.730, 27.163, 27.167, 38.726.

Key References

Miranda Ribeiro, A. de Journal Article 1907 Typhlobagrus kronei
Eigenmann, C. H. Journal Article 1917 Pimelodella and Typhlobagrus
Leonardos, O. H. Journal Article 1937 O bagrinho sem olhos das grutas de Iporanga
Pavan, C. Journal Article 1945 Os Peixeos cegos das cavernas de Iporanga e a evolucao
Pavan, C. Journal Article 1946 Observations and experiments on the cave fish Pimelodella kronei and its relatives
Strinati, P. Journal Article 1975 Faune des Grutas das Areias (Sao Paulo, Brasil)
Almeida-Toledo, L. F., Trajano, E., Toledo, F. and Foresti, F. Journal Article 1985 Analise citogenetica comparativa entre o peixe cego Pimelodella kronei das Grutas de Iporanga (SP) e seu preumivel ancestral, Pimelodella transitoria
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1986 Population study of Pimelodella kronei (Teleostei, Siluriformes), blind catfish from the Upper Ribeiro river valley, southeastern Brazil
Britski, H. A. and Trajano, E. Journal Article 1987 Caecorhamdella brasiliensis Borodin, 1927, um sinonimo de Pimelodella kronei (Ribeiro, 1907) (Siluriformes, Teleostomi)
Trajano, E. Thesis 1987 Biologia do cavernicola, Pimelodella kronei e de seu provavel ancestral, Pimelodella transitoria (Siluriformes, Pimelodidae)
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1989 Spontaneous and feeding behaviour and diet of the blind catfish, Pimelodella kronei and its putative ancestor, Pimelodella transitoria, from southeastern Brazil (Siluriformes, Pimelodidae)
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1989 Preliminary study of the chemical communication in the troglobite catfish Pimelodella kronei (Ribeiro, 1907) from southeastern Brazil (Siluriformes, Pimelodidae)
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1989 Estudo do comportamento espontaneo e alimentar e da dieta do bagre cavernicola, Pimelodella kronei, e seu provavel ancestral epigeo, Pimelodella transitoria (Siluriformes, Pimelodidae)
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1991 Population ecology of Pimelodella kronei, troglobitic catfish from southeastern Brazil (Siluriformes, Pimelodidae)
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1991 The agonistic behaviour of Pimelodella kronei, a troglobitic catfish from southeastern Bazil (Siluriformes, Pimelodidae)
Almeida-Toledo, L.F., Foresti, F., Trajano, E. and Almeida-Toledo, S. Journal Article 1992 Cytogenetic analysis of the Brazilian blind catfish Pimelodella kronei and its presumed ancestor P. transitoria
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1993 Considerations about systematics and the evolution of behavior in Siluriform cave fishes
Trajano, E. and Britski, H. A. Journal Article 1993 Pimelodella kronei (Ribeiro, 1907) e seu sinonimo Caecorhamdella brasiliensis Borodin, 1927: Morfologia externa, taxonomia, e evolucao (Teleostomi, Siluriformes)
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1994 Comparative study of the brain and olfactory organ of the troglobitic catfish Pimelodella kronei (Ribeiro, 1907) and its putative ancestor P. transitoria (Ribeiro, 1912) (Siluriformes, Pimelodidae)
Trajano, E. and Menna-Barreto, L. Journal Article 1995 Locomotor activity pattern of Brazilian cave catfishes under constant darkness (Siluriformes, Pimelodidae)
Hoenen, S.M.M. and Trajano, E. Journal Article 1995 Locomotor responses of Pimelodella spp. from southeastern Brazil to chemical signals of other individuals (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Pimelodidae)
Hoenen, S. Journal Article 1996 Behavioural studies on Pimelodella kronei from Bombas resurgence, southeastern Brazil (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae)
Trajano, E. Journal Article 1997 Threatened fishes of the world: Pimelodella kronei (Ribeiro, 1907) (Pimelodidae)
Trajano, E. and Gerhard, P. Journal Article 1997 Light reaction in Brazilian cave fishes (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae, Trichomycteridae, Loricariidae)
Trajano, E. Book Section 2008 Pimelodella kronei (Ribeiro, 1907)
Oyakawa, O.T., Menezes, N.A., Shibatta, O.A., Lima, F.C.T., Langeani, F., Pavanelli, C.S., Nielsen, D.T.B. and Hilsdorf, A.W.S. Book Section 2009 Peixes de agua doce
Nogueira, C., Buckup, P.A., Menezes, N.A., Oyakawa, O.T., Kasecker, T.P., Ramon Neto, M.B. and da Silva, J.M.C. Journal Article 2010 Restricted-range fishes and the conservation of Brazilian freshwaters
Dazzani, B., Garcia, C., Peixoto, M., Trajano, E. and de Almeida-Toledo, L.F. Journal Article 2012 Cytogenetic and molecular analyses in troglobitic and epigean species of Pimelodella (Siluriformes: Heptapteridae) from Brazil
Trajano, E., Ueno, J.C.H. and Menna-Barreto, L. Journal Article 2012 Evolution of time-control mechanisms in subterranean organisms: cave fishes under light-dark cycles (Teleostei: Siluriformes, Characiformes)
Guil, A.L.F. and Trajano, E. Journal Article 2013 Dinâmica populacional do bagre cego de Iporanga, Pimelodella kronei: 70 anos de estudo
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
Souza-Silva, M. and Ferreira, R.L. Journal Article 2016 The first two hotspots of subterranean biodiversity in South America
Slobodian, V. Thesis 2017 Taxonomic revision of Pimelodella Eigenmann and Eigenmann 1888 (Silutiformes, Heptapteridae): An integrative proposal to delimit species using a multidisciplinary strategy
Gallão, J.E. and Bichuette M.E. Journal Article 2018 Brazilian obligatory subterranean fauna and threats to the hypogean environment
Slobodian, V. and Pastana, M.N.L. Journal Article 2018 Description of a new Pimelodella (Siluriformes: Heptapteridae) species with a discussion on the upper pectoral girdle homology of Siluriformes
Grempel, R.G., Trajano, E. and Visconti, M.A. Journal Article 2020 Regression of dark color in subterranean fishes involves multiple mechanisms: response to hormones and neurotransmitters
Bonato, L. and Ferreira. R.L. Journal Article 2023 Assessing troglomorphic and phylogenetically informative traits in troglobionts: a new cave‑dwelling centipede illuminates the evolution of a soil‑dwelling lineage (Chilopoda: Geophilidae)
Photograph by Ivan Sazima