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Fishes from the Itapecuru River basin, State of Maranhão, northeast Brazil

Peixes da bacia do Rio Itapecuru, Estado do Maranhão, nordeste do Brasil

MC Barros EC Fraga JLO Birindelli About the authors

The Itapecuru is a relatively large river in the northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhão. During several expeditions to this basin, we collected 69 fish species belonging to 65 genera, 29 families and 10 orders. Characiformes and Siluriformes were the orders with the largest number of species and Characidae, Loricariidae, Cichlidae, Auchenipteridae and Pimelodidae were the richest families. About 30% of the fish fauna of the Itapecuru basin is endemic or restricted to northeastern Brazil. Just over a fifth (22%) of the species is also known to occur in the Amazon basin and only a few are more widely distributed in South American.

taxonomy; biodiversity; freshwater fishes

Instituto Internacional de Ecologia R. Bento Carlos, 750, 13560-660 São Carlos SP - Brasil, Tel. e Fax: (55 16) 3362-5400 - São Carlos - SP - Brazil