Cynolebias parnaibensis from the Canindé River drainage, Parnaíba River basin, northeastern Brazil, is described. It is considered to be a member of a clade endemic to the Caatinga. The clade is diagnosed, e. g., by a series of structural modifications of the pharyngeal jaw apparatus, which is related to the sound production exhibited by males during courtship behavior. The courtship sound of C. parnaibensis consists of a single pulse named as thump (duration 0.031-0.133s; interthump intervals 0.020-8.319s; dominant frequency 70.3-93.8 Hz). The new species is distinguished from all other congeners by a combination of 27-31 neuromasts around eye, 29-33 supraorbital neuromasts, 16-18 dorsal-fin rays and 19 anal-fin rays in males, 28-31 caudal-fin rays, 33-36 scales in the longitudinal series, 3+10 gill-rakers in the first branchial arch, absence of second pharyngobranchial teeth, absence of contact organs on the flank scales, 34-35 vertebrae, absence of teeth on vomer, and presence of transverse series of scales on the anal-fin base.
Taxonomy; Systematics; Bioacustics; Etology; Sexual behavior