Taxonomic revision of the deep channel electric fish genus Sternarchella (Teleostei: Gymnotiformes: Apteronotidae), with descriptions of two new species

Kory M. Evans William G. R. Crampton James S. Albert About the authors


This paper provides a taxonomic revision of the Neotropical electric fish genus Sternarchella, with redescriptions of seven valid species and descriptions of two new species. A maximum parsimony analysis of 76 morphological characters from seven ingroup and seven outgroup taxa recovered a non-monophyletic Sternarchella, in which a clade comprising two species with a ventral mouth (S. orinoco + S. sima) is the sister group to a clade comprising seven species that possess a terminal or superior mouth. Nested within this higher-diversity clade is the genus Magosternarchus (recognized herein as a junior synonym of Sternarchella) comprising M. duccis and M. raptor. The Magosternarchus clade forms a polytomy with S. orthos and S. schotti. Sternarchella calhamazon + a new species from the upper Río Madeira (sister species to S. calhamazon), and a new larger-bodied species from the central and upper Río Amazonas also form a clade. Sternarchella orthos is distributed in both the Amazon and Orinoco basins, where it exhibits considerable phenotypic diversity. Sternarchella orthos includes most specimens from the Amazon formerly assigned to the nominal species S. terminalis (recognized herein as a junior synonym of S. schotti).

Amazon; Evolution; Geometric morphometrics; Identification key; Magosternarchus

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