The specific name was misspelled phreaticola by Vandel (1964, 1965).
Holotype: A female 54.6mm (SL/TL?). This specimen was reported to have been kept in the collection of Carranza and its present location (if still extant) is unknown. Paratypes: Sixty‑five specimens 33.5mm ‑ 54.7mm (SL/TL ?). Of these the whereabouts of only the following are known for sure: UMMZ 173788 (3 specimens, 35-45mm SL), UMMZ 223109 (5 specimens, 34-52mm SL), SU 48047 (3 specimens), TU 10810 (3 specimens, ex-Carranza collection), TU osteo 178, USNM 164169 (3 specimens). It was reported (Carranza, 1954:132) that each of the following institutions was sent three paratypes: BMNH, MNHN, IPN. Nineteen were retained alive in aquaria at the time of publication, 26 in the collection of Carranza, and 2 in the collection of C. Bolivar. The present location of these 47 (if still extant) is unknown. This species is the type species by original designation and monotypy of the cave‑restricted genus Prietella.
Type locality: a dug‑out well called Pozo El Potrero de Dona Mariana, Municipio de Musquiz, Coahuila, Mexico (27o10'N 101o05'W). Specimens of this species have now been collected from the Sotano de Amezcua (29o20’N, 101o30W) 200 km from the type locality (Sprouse, 1993; Elliott, 1994), and other sites (see Hendrickson, Krejca and Rodriguez Martinez 2001 for details). Ongoing research (Dean Hendrickson pers. comm.) will probably result in more locations being discovered. In 2016 fishes very like P. phreatophila were discovered in Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio, Texas. Dean Hendrickson is convinced that they are the same species.
The type locality is “an artificially enlarged natural well fed by a deep crevice” (Reddell 1981:245). Hendrickson, Krejca and Rodriguez Martinez (2001) reports that the habitat of this species vary from deep ephemeral streams to perennial flows. All known habitats are subject to massive flooding. In Sotano de Amezcua the animals have been collected from a sump pool which is probably not the real habitat.
Taylor (1955, 1969) suggested that Prietella phreatophila is the sister group of the large and extensive genus Noturus. This was supported by Lundberg (1982) after a thorough anatomical study of many ictalurids. Further support was gathered by Amemiya, Kelsch, Hendricks and Gold (1986) who determined the karyotype of a single specimen. It has 2n=50 with a diploid are number of 80. This is not very distinct from a Noturus karyotype although it was suggested that the presence of a single NOR (as opposed to multiple NORs in Noturus) may represent the ancestral condition for the Ictaluridae. Miller and Smith (1986:477) suggest that this species is of Oligocene or more recent origin. The closest living relative is currently the hypogean Prietella lundbergi, though this is over 600km away.
Detailed studies the four North and Central American troglobitic ictalurids Satan eurystomus, Trogloglanis pattersoni, Prietella phreatophila and P. lundbergi by Arce et al. (2017) suggest that they form a monophyletic group with fifteen synapomorphies: 1. Absence of eyes, 2. depigmentation, 3. Fifth vertebra, 4. Lateral line extent, 5. Mesethmoid cornua, 6. Anterior cranial fontanel, 7. Descending wing of frontal, 8. Supraoccipital posterior process, 9. Pterotic wings, 10. Parasphenoid and orbitosphenoid, 11. Abductor arcus palatine scars, 12. Anterior ceratohyal-ventral hypohyal joint, 13. Dorsal hypohyal, 14. Upper hypurals, 15. Transcapular ligament ossification. It would be highly valuable to compare these anatomical synapomorphies with those from molecular markers. This group of four is the sister group to all other ictalurids in the analysis and they presumably share a last common ancestor which lived in the northern Mexico area.
EN A1ace+2ce,B1+2bc:2.3:1996. (Contreras-Balderas, S. & Almada-Villela, P. 1996. Prietella phreatophila. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.1996.RLTS.T18136A7669809.en. Downloaded on 07 July 2017).
E (Miller, 1977), I (IUCN, 1988), R (IUCN, 1990), E (IUCN, 1993), 2000). E1,5 (Williams, Johnson, Hendrickson, Balderas-Balderas, Williams., Navarro-Mendoza, McAllister and Deacon, 1989). E (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 1994a,1994b), E (Contreras-Balderas, Almada-Villela, Lozano-Vilano and Garcia-Ramirez, 2003).
As above plus: USNM 164169, UMMZ 187684, and 173788, TNHC 12100, TCWC 5144-1 (karyotype slide preparation). Probably several specimens at the Instituto Mexicano de Recursos Naturales Renovables, Mexico (Taylor, 1969). More recent collections (including live animals) at Texas Natural History Collection, Texas Memorial Museum.
|Genbank accession no.||Gene|
|AY458868.1||mt 12S, mt 16s ribosomal|
- Taylor, W. R. (1955)
- Taylor, W. R. (1969)
- Amemiya, C.T., Kelsch, S.W., Hendricks, F.S. and Gold, J.R. (1986)
- Elliott, W. R. (1994)
- Hendrickson, D.A. (1995)
- Walsh, S. J. and Gilbert, C. R. (1995)
- Hendrickson, D.A. (1996)
- Hendrickson, D.A. and Krejca, J. (1997)
- Hendrickson, D.A. and Krecja, J. (1998)
- Garcia de Leon, F.J., Hendrickson, D.A. and Hillis, D.M. (1998)
- Hendrickson, D.A., Krejca, J. and Rodriguez Martinez, J.M. (1998)
- Krejca, J., Hendrickson, D.A. and Taylor, S.J. (2000)
- Hendrickson, D.A. and Krejca, J. (2000)
- Hendrickson, D.A., Krejca, J. and Rodriguez Martinez, J.M. (2001)
- Krejca, J. (2003)
- Sneegas, G.W. and Hendrickson, D.A. (2003)
- Hardman, M. (2004)
- Wilcox, T.P., Garcia de Leon, F.J., Hendrickson, D.A. and Hillis, D.M. (2004)
- Sullivan, JP, Lundberg, J. G. and Hardman, M (2006)
- Dahdul, W.M., Lundberg, J.G., Midford, P.E., Balhoff, J.P., Lapp, H., Vision, T.J., Haendel, M.A., Westerfield, M. and Mabee, P.M. (2010)
- Egge, J.J.D. (2010)
- Palacios-Vargas, J.G., Juberthie, C. and Reddell, J. (2014-2015)
- Hendrickson, D.A., Johnson, J., Sprouse, P.S., Howard, S., Garrett, G.P. Krejca, J.K., Gluesenkamp, W., Paulín, J.A.D., Dugan, L., Cohen, A.E., Espriú, A.H., Sullivan, J.P., Fenol, D.B., Karges, J., Smith, R., García De León, F.J., Wolaver, B. and Reddell (2016)
- Coleman, W.T., Hutchins, Benjamin, T. and Schwartz, B.F. (2016)
- Hutchins, B.T., Engel, A.S., Nowlin, W.H. and Schwartz, B.F. (2016)
- Hutchins, B.T. (2016)
- Sinatra, C.S. (2016)
- Hendrickson, D.A., Hernández‐ Espriú, A., Dugan, L., Sprouse, P., Dávila Paulín, J.A., Krejca, J., Gluesenkamp, A., Reddell, J., Smith, R., Howard, S., Johnson, J., Garrett, G.P., Cohen, A.E., García De León, F.J., Wolaver, B.P. and Fenolio, D.B. (2017)
- Arce, M., Lundberg, J.G. and O'Leary, M.A. (2017)
- Lundberg, J.G., Hendrickson, D.A., Luckenbill, K.R. and Arce, M. (2017)
- Burr, B.M., Warren, M.L. and Bennett, M.G. (2020)
|Taylor, W. R.||Thesis||1955||A revision of the genus Noturus Rafinesque with a contribution to the classification of the North American catfishes|
|Taylor, W. R.||Journal Article||1969||A revision of the catfish genus Noturus Rafinesque, with an analysis of higher groups in the Ictaluridae|
|Amemiya, C.T., Kelsch, S.W., Hendricks, F.S. and Gold, J.R.||Journal Article||1986||The karyoptype of the Mexican blindcat, Prietalla phreatophila Carranza (Ictaluridae)|
|Elliott, W. R.||Journal Article||1994||Sotano de Amezcua|
|Hendrickson, D.A.||Journal Article||1995||Miscellaneous notes on biogeography and biology of Mexican blind catfish of the genus Prietella|
|Walsh, S. J. and Gilbert, C. R.||Journal Article||1995||New species of troglobitic catfish of the genus Prietella (Siluriformes, Ictaluridae) from Northeastern Mexico|
|Hendrickson, D.A.||Journal Article||1996||Notes on biogeography, ecology and behaviour of Mexican blind catfish, genus Prietella (Ictaulridae)|
|Hendrickson, D.A. and Krejca, J.||Journal Article||1997||Notes on biogeography, ecology and behaviour of Mexcan blind catfish, genus Prietella (Ictaluridae)|
|Hendrickson, D.A. and Krecja, J.||Journal Article||1998||Blindcats of the genus Prietella (Ictualuridae) of northeastern Mexico: an overview of recent explorations and studies|
|Garcia de Leon, F.J., Hendrickson, D.A. and Hillis, D.M.||Journal Article||1998||Molecular phylogeny of Ictaluridae with emphasis on the Mexican blindcats, genus Prietella|
|Hendrickson, D.A., Krejca, J. and Rodriguez Martinez, J.M.||Journal Article||1998||Blind catfish (Prietella: Ictaluridae) phylogenies and troglobitic invertebrates as indicators of international (Mexico-USA) subterranean aquatic interconnections, and as tools for environmental risk assessment|
|Krejca, J., Hendrickson, D.A. and Taylor, S.J.||Journal Article||2000||Using stygobites to follow groundwater in Texas and Mexico|
|Hendrickson, D.A. and Krejca, J.||Book Section||2000||Subterranean freshwater diversity in northeastern Mexico and Texas|
|Hendrickson, D.A., Krejca, J. and Rodriguez Martinez, J.M.||Journal Article||2001||Mexican blindcats genus Prietella (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae): An overview of recent explorations|
|Krejca, J.||Journal Article||2003||The Mexican blindcat (Prietella phreatophila): Research and exploration in the groundwater|
|Sneegas, G.W. and Hendrickson, D.A.||Journal Article||2003||Extreme catfishes|
|Hardman, M.||Journal Article||2004||The phylogenetic relationships among Noturus catfishes (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae) as inferred from mitochondrial gene cytochrome b and nuclear recombination activating gene 2.|
|Wilcox, T.P., Garcia de Leon, F.J., Hendrickson, D.A. and Hillis, D.M.||Journal Article||2004||Convergence among cave catfishes: long-branch attraction and a Bayesian relative rates test|
|Sullivan, JP, Lundberg, J. G. and Hardman, M||Journal Article||2006||A phylogenetic analysis of the major groups of catfishes (Teleostei: Siluriformes) using rag1 and rag2 nuclear gene sequences|
|Dahdul, W.M., Lundberg, J.G., Midford, P.E., Balhoff, J.P., Lapp, H., Vision, T.J., Haendel, M.A., Westerfield, M. and Mabee, P.M.||Journal Article||2010||The Teleost anatomy ontology: Anatomocal representation for the genomics age|
|Egge, J.J.D.||Book Section||2010||Systematics if ictalurid catfishes: a review of the evidence|
|Palacios-Vargas, J.G., Juberthie, C. and Reddell, J.||Book||2014-2015||Encyclopaedia Biospeologica Mexico|
|Hendrickson, D.A., Johnson, J., Sprouse, P.S., Howard, S., Garrett, G.P. Krejca, J.K., Gluesenkamp, W., Paulín, J.A.D., Dugan, L., Cohen, A.E., Espriú, A.H., Sullivan, J.P., Fenol, D.B., Karges, J., Smith, R., García De León, F.J., Wolaver, B. and Reddell||Conference Paper||2016||Discovery of the Mexican Blindcat, Prietella phreatophila in the U.S and an update on its rangewide conservation status|
|Coleman, W.T., Hutchins, Benjamin, T. and Schwartz, B.F.||Conference Paper||2016||Dynamics of detectability: Insights from high-frequency sampling at a stygobiont hot-spot, Edwards Aquifer, Texas|
|Hutchins, B.T., Engel, A.S., Nowlin, W.H. and Schwartz, B.F.||Conference Paper||2016||Biodiversity, stability, and trophic complexity in the Edwards Aquifer, United States: The influence of chemolithoautotrophy on stygobiont community structure|
|Hutchins, B.T.||Conference Paper||2016||Conservation status of stygobionts in Texas, United States.|
|Sinatra, C.S.||Web Page||2016||Rare, blind catfish never before found in U.S. discovered in Texas|
|Hendrickson, D.A., Hernández‐ Espriú, A., Dugan, L., Sprouse, P., Dávila Paulín, J.A., Krejca, J., Gluesenkamp, A., Reddell, J., Smith, R., Howard, S., Johnson, J., Garrett, G.P., Cohen, A.E., García De León, F.J., Wolaver, B.P. and Fenolio, D.B.||Conference Paper||2017||Discovery of endangered Mexican Blindcat, Prietella phreatophila , in Texas: Implications for international groundwater management and evolution of the regional karst aquifer biota|
|Arce, M., Lundberg, J.G. and O'Leary, M.A.||Journal Article||2017||Phylogeny of the North American catfish Family Ictaluridae (Teleostei: Siluriformes) combining morphology, genes and fossils|
|Lundberg, J.G., Hendrickson, D.A., Luckenbill, K.R. and Arce, M.||Journal Article||2017||Satan's skeleton revealed: a tomographic and comparative osteology of Satan eurystomus, the subterranean Widemouth Blindcat (Siluriformes, Ictaluridae)|
|Burr, B.M., Warren, M.L. and Bennett, M.G.||Book Section||2020||Ictaluridae: North American catfishes|