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Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales

versión On-line ISSN 1853-0400

Rev. Mus. Argent. Cienc. Nat. vol.18 no.1 Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires jun. 2016



First record of Hypostomus boulengeri (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Bermejo River basin


Felipe Alonso1, Guillermo Enrique Terán2*, Gastón Aguilera2 & Juan Marcos Mirande2

1 División Ictiología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia" (MACN)-CONICET, Av. Ángel Gallardo 470, (1405) Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2 Unidad Ejecutora Lillo (CONICET)-Fundación Miguel Lillo. Miguel Lillo 251, (4000) San Miguel de Tucumán, Tucumán, Argentina.
*Corresponding author:


Hypostomus boulengeri (Eigenmann and Kennedy, 1903) is a poorly known species recorded from the Paraguay and Paraná River basins. In this work we report the occurrence of this species in the Bermejo River basin for the first time, representing a distribution range extension of more than 600 km.

Key words: Fishes; Biogeography; Salta; Río de la Plata basin; Hypostominae.


Primer registro de Hypostomus boulengeri (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) en la cuenca del Río Bermejo

Hypostomus boulengeri (Eigenmann y Kennedy 1903) es una especie poco conocida, registrada en las cuencas de los ríos Paraguay y Paraná. En este trabajo reportamos por primera vez la presencia de esta especie en la cuenca del río Bermejo, que representa una ampliación en la distribución de más de 600 km.

Palabras clave: Peces; Biogeografía; Salta; Cuenca del Río de la Plata; Hypostominae.



The Loricariidae is one of the most diverse families within the order Siluriformes, with more than 915 valid species in 70 genera (Eschmeyer and Fong, 2016) and within this family, the Hypostominae is the most speciesrich, geographically widespread, and ecomorphologically diverse subfamily (Armbruster, 2004). Hypostomus is the most diverse genus in the subfamily Hypostominae and one of the most common and ubiquitous genera in South America (Silva et al., 2006) comprising 143 valid species (Froese and Pauly, 2016).
Hypostomus boulengeri (Eigenmann and Kennedy, 1903) was originally described in the genus Plecostomus based on two small specimens (6 and 10 cm) from "Mato Grosso [Brazil] or Asuncion [Paraguay]" (Eigenmann and Kennedy, 1903). In any case, the type locality of H. boulengeri was clearly situated in the Paraguay River basin. Almost 80 years later, Weber (1986) redescribed H. boulengeri with specimens from the Paraguay River basin at Paraguay country. Weber (2003) listed H. boulengeri from Argentina, but without providing locality details or voucher specimens. López et al. (2005) confirmed the presence of this species in Argentina, for the ‘Alto Paraná’ in the provinces of Misiones and Corrientes. Almirón et al. (2008) added new records for this species from localities corresponding to the lower Paraná River basin at several localities in Entre Ríos, Argentina. We collected new specimens of Hypostomus from Bermejo River basin, in Salta, which after comparisons with collection specimens and diagnoses from the literature correspond to H. boulengeri. This is the first report of occurrence of Hypostomus boulengeri in the Bermejo River basin.


During an ichthyological survey at the Bermejo River basin, in the province of Salta, in September 2015 we collected some specimens later identified as H. boulengeri (Fig.1). After the analysis of material housed at the ichthyologic collection of the Fundación Miguel Lillo we detected some additional material from that basin. Our specimens were collected using hand nets, anesthetized with an overdose in benzocaine solution, fixed in 4% formalin solution for seven days, and conserved in 70% ethanol after fixation before deposition in the ichthyological collection of the Fundación Miguel Lillo (CI-FML).

Fig. 1
. Hypostomus boulengeri from Arroyo Aguas Lindas (23°0’53.38"S, 64°21’53.73"W; 345 m asl), 110.3 mm SL, CI FML 7100. Dorsal (a), ventral (b) and lateral (c) views. White bar = 10 mm.


Examined Material
Hypostomus boulengeri. Argentina: Salta, Orán 09/2015, coll.: F. Alonso, G.E. Terán, G. Aguilera and J. M. Mirande: CI- FML 7100. 1 ex. Aguas Lindas stream (23° 0’53.38"S, 64°21’53.73"W; 345 m asl); CI- FML 7101, 1 ex. Stream with no name between Blanco River and Pescado River (23° 1’33.18"S, 64°21’37.14"W; 345 m asl); Salta, Departamento de Rivadavia near La Unión, Madrejón el Devisadero (23°46’26.69"S, 63° 4’5.14"W; 227 m asl), 01/2014: CI- FML 7099, 5 ex., and CI- FML 7102, 1 ex.

Hypostomus boulengeri is distinguishable from the other species of the genus by the following combination of characters: deep head and rounded snout, presence of four notorious keels along body side from head to caudal-fin base, eye diameter 6 to 8 in head length, 12 to 30 small bicuspid teeth in each premaxilla and dentary, and body background color grayish-brown, scattered with big dark-brown circular blotches, smaller on snout (Almirón et al., 2008).


In this note we add three new collecting sites for this species (Fig. 2), which correspond to the first records of Hypostomus boulengeri from the Bermejo river basin. These represent a lineal geographic distribution range extension of more than 612 km from the nearest point (locality near Asunción in Paraguay) in which this species was previously registered and also represent its western-most record. Two of these new collecting sites are the first records of this species in the Yungas province (sensu Morrone, 2014) and the highest altitude recorded for the species (350 m asl). The upper Bermejo River basin has usually clear water (except in the rainy summer) while the middle course of this river has much turbid water, which may represent a geographic barrier for some species. This partial isolation might be one of the explanations for the fish endemisms present in the upper Bermejo River basin (e.g. Casciotta & Almirón, 2004; Mirande et al., 2004a, 2004b, 2006, 2011; Rodríguez and Miquelarena, 2005; Miquelarena and Menni, 2005, Calviño and Alonso, 2009). But, even if the species inhabiting that region were not endemic, as H. boulengeri, it is worth reporting their occurrence both to know their actual distribution and to use this information in conservation strategies.

Fig. 2
. Geographical distribution of Hypostomus boulengeri, black rhomboid symbols represent new records presented herein and black circular symbols represent previously known records for the species. One symbol may represent more than one record.


We would like to thank to Luiz Tencatt for the valuable data provided for identification of this species and localities in Brazil. To CONICET and Fundación Miguel Lillo for partial financial support.


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Recibido: 8-III-2016
Aceptado: 15-VI-2016

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