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A little panther?

An attractive new pleco from the rio Paraguaçu basin in Bahia State, easten Brazil is described in the latest volume of the journal ‘Neotropical Ichthyology’.

Hypostomus jaguar sp. nov. was collected from tributaries measuring up to 60 metres across and 1.5 m deep with rocky substrates and dark, moderate to fast-flowing water, where it occurs sympatrically with Hypostomus chrysostiktos.

Hypostomus jaguar

The new species can be told apart from others in the genus by a combination of: possession of black and conspicuous dots on a pale background, which are similar in size on the head, trunk, and fins; ventral surface of head and abdomen naked or the latter plated exclusively on its anterior portion; absence of ridges on head and trunk; caudal-fin lobes relatively similar in length.

It differs further from H. chrysostiktos by possessing seven branched dorsal-fin rays versus 10-11.

It’s specific name is derived from the word ‘îaguara’ in the indigenous Tupi- Guarani language, which means ‘panther’, in reference to its black-spotted colour pattern.
The rio Paraguaçu is a small coastal river system which is not under the influence of any larger system and is home to a number of endemic species with H. jaguar being the eleventh catfish alone.

Hypostomus jaguar