Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 195-200

First online:

Habitat and Population Data of Troglobitic Armored Cave Catfish, Ancistrus Cryptophthalmus Reis, 1987, from Central Brazil (Siluriformes: Loricariidae)

  • Eleonora TrajanoAffiliated withDepartamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências da USP

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Population ecology of the troglobitic armored catfish, A. cryptophthalmus, from caves in São Domingos karst area of central Brazil, was studied in a two-census capture-mark-recapture study carried out during the dry season of 1999. Like many loricariids, including epigean Ancistrus catfishes from that area, A. cryptophthalmus is a typical bottom-dweller with a strong preference for rocky substrates in fast-flowing stream sectors. Relatively high population densities, when compared to other cavefishes, were recorded in the studied cave sections: 0.9 individuals m−2 in Angélica Cave and 0.5 individuals m−2 in Passa Três Cave. Passa Três Stream is a small tributary of the São Vicente Cave system, and the estimated population for Passa Três Cave (ca. 2000 m long) is around 1000 individuals. On the other hand, the large Angélica Cave Stream (∼8 km long) harbors a very large population, conservatively estimated at 20 000 individuals. No fish movements of distances longer than 100 m were recorded in the 40-day period. In Passa Três Cave, a few movements of distances up to 60 m were detected. Proportion of mature females in Angélica Cave was higher than in Passa Três Cave, possibly reflecting a greater food availability in the first cave. Mean individual growth rates in Angélica Cave (1.35 mm month−1 for size class <41 mm SL, 0.17 mm month−1 for size class >41 mm SL) point to relatively high longevities, possibly attaining 15 years.

Angélica Cave capture-mark-recapture census karst Passa Três Cave population ecology