Baryancistrus xanthellus is a species from the Ancistrini tribe known commonly as "amarelinho " or "golden nugget pleco". It is one of the most popular and valued ornamental fishes due to its color pattern. Also, it is an endemic species from the Xingu River occurring from Volta Grande do Xingu, region where the Belo Monte Hydropower Dam is being built, to São Félix do Xingu. The current study aimed to cytogenetically characterize B. xanthellus . Results point to the maintenance of 2n=52, which is considered the most common condition for the tribe, and a single nucleolus organizer region (NOR). Mapping of the 18S rDNA confirmed the NOR sites, and the 5S rDNA was mapped in the interstitial position of a single chromosome pair. The 18S and 5S rDNA located in different pairs constitute an apomorphy in Loricariidae. Large blocks of heterochromatin are present in pairs 1 and 10 and in the regions equivalent to NOR and the 5S rDNA. Data obtained in this study corroborated with the currently accepted phylogenetic hypothesis for the Ancistrini and demonstrate evidence that the genus Baryancistrus occupies a basal position in the tribe.
FISH; Habitat endangered; rDNA; Volta Grande do Xingu