Phreatobius undescribed species Jaú

[Muriel-Cunha 2008]




Previously subsumed within one of the three formally known species.




This taxon has not been formally described and there are currently no types.


"Brasil, Estado do Amazonas, Novo Airao, rio Jaú, lago do Miratucu" (Muriel-Cunha 2008:101).




A detailed molecular study of the genus Phreatobius, in a Ph.D. thesis, by Janice Muriel-Cunha (Muriel-Cunha 2008) demonstrated that there are at least eight species within the genus Phreatobius and also that the genus resides in its own monogeneric Family, Phreatobiidae (see also Muriel-Cunha and De Pinna 2005, Shibatta, Muriel-Cunha and de Pinna 2007, Muriel-Cunha, De Pinna, M. and Zuanon 2008Muriel-Cunha and de Pinna 2008Sullivan, Muriel-Cunha and Lundberg 2013). In addition to the three formally described species (P. cisternarum, P. dracunculus and P. sanguijuela) are five which received informal names in the thesis of Muriel-Cunha ( P. undescribed species Anapixi, P. undescribed species Jaú, P. undescribed species Tarumanzinho, P. undescribed species Viruá and P. undescribed species Aripuana). Even though it is now 12 years since these informally named taxa were demonstrated to be good species, at least genetically, they have not yet been formally described.

Biological Notes

Perez et al. (2020) found the following: "Histological analysis showed that the vestigial eyes of Phreatobius cisternarum contain a rudimentary lens. Transcriptome analysis revealed a repertoire of eleven visual and non-visual opsins and the expression of 36 genes involved in lens development and maintenance. In contrast to other cavefish species, such as Astyanax mexicanus, Phreatichthys andruzzii, Sinocyclocheilus anophthalmus and Sinocyclocheilus microphthalmus, neuromast staining patterns did not show an increase in the number of sensory hair cells" (from their Abstract). Further important results on this very significant subterranean fish, which has hardly been studied, are expected from this research group.

Conservation Status

MuG [NE]

Museum Holdings

MZUSP 94978 (Muriel-Cunha 2008:101)

Key References

Trajano, E. and Bichuette, M.E. Book Section 2010 Subterranean fishes of Brazil
Fernandez, L., Bize, J.A. and Lopez, H.L. Journal Article 2017 Peces subterráneos de Sudamérica
Mariluz, B.R. Thesis 2019 A base molecular das adaptações visuais nos genes das opsinas de anableps Anableps e Phreatobius cisternarum através da análise de transcriptoma
Perez, L.N., Mariluz, B.R., Lorena, J., Liu, A., Sousa, M.P., Martins, R.A.P., Taylor, J.S. and Schneider, P.N. Journal Article 2021 The subterranean catfish Phreatobius cisternarum provides insights into visual adaptations to the phreatic environment