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Introduction The catfish

Introduction The catfish family Pimelodidae (sensu Mees 1974, Burgess 1989) is a large family, with about 300 species in 56 genera forming an important part of South American catfishes (Nelson 1994), however this family has recently been split into three different families: Pimelodidae, Pseudopimelodidae and Heptapteridae, with 83, 26 and 186 species respectively (Lundberg & Littmann 2003). This family includes species of high economic value for human consumption (fisheries), pets (ornamental fish trade) and play important roles in aquatic ecosystems. Among this group the species of the genus Pseudoplatystoma are important in the freshwater fisheries catch because specimens can surpass 1.5m in length. Their large size and striking striped color pattern have earned these fishes the name of Giant Tiger Catfish. They are present in all major South American rivers, including the Amazon, Magdalena, Orinoco, Guiana’s and Paraná drainages. The genus Pseudoplatystoma was described by Bleeker (1862) who selected Silurus fasciatus Linnaeus 1766 as the type by original designation. In this same paper, in the next paragraphs, Bleeker described the genus Hemiplatystoma Bleeker 1862 designing the type species Platystoma tigrinum Valenciennnes 1840, which is a junior synonym (Gosline 1945; Van der Stigchel 1946; Mees 1974). In the genus Pseudoplatystoma twelve nominal species have been described (including some varieties), which are potential names for species: Silurus fasciatus Linnaeus 1766, Platystoma corruscans Spix & Agassiz 1829 (misspelled Platystoma coruscans by Valenciennes 1840), Sorubim caparary Spix & Agassiz 1829, Platystoma tigrinum Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1840, Platystoma artedii Günther 1864, Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum intermedium Eigenmann & Eigenmann 1888, Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum brevifile Eigenmann & Eigenmann 1889, Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum nigricans Eigenmann & Eigenmann 1889, Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum reticulatum Eigenmann & 2

Eigenmann 1889; Silurus macrocephalus Larrañaga, 1923; Platystoma truncatum Spix & Agassiz 1829; Platystoma punctatum Valencinennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1840. Lundberg & Littmann (2003) include in the list a group of species placed in the category “Species inquirendae”: Platystoma pardalis Valenciennes 1836; Platystoma orbignianus Valenciennes 1836; Platystoma panthale Valencieenes 1847; Platystoma punctifer Castelnau 1855; Platystoma forschammeri Lütken 1875 (Sic). Lütken (1875 p. 34) designated Platystoma orbignianum Val. as a synonym of Platystoma forchhammeri Rhdt. (M.S.) (sic.), mentioning on page 35 the Reinhardt’s species (P. forchhammeri) from the “Rio d. Velhas”. The names above have been described based on material from the Amazon and Parana basins, but not one species has been described from the Orinoco or Magdalena rivers, including Platystoma artedii Günther 1864, for which the type is missing and the description was based on Sebae's illustration (Lundberg pers. com.). From that same description Lundberg et al. (1989) concluded that it is a synonym of P. fasciatum. Platystoma punctifer Castelnau 1855 is a valid species (Buitrago-Suarez 2004, in prep.). In the current literature three valid species of the genus Pseudoplatystoma are recognized (Mees 1974, Lundberg & Littmann 2003): P. corruscans (Spix & Agassiz 1829), P. fasciatum (Linnaeus 1766) and P. tigrinum (Valenciennes 1840). Lundberg & Littmann (2003) recognized as synonyms of Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum those subspecies described by Eigenmann & Eigenmann (1988, 1989) and P. artedi described by Günther (1864). Mees (1974) restricted the locality of P. fasciatum to Suriname, “which makes my Brokopondo specimen topotypical”. Buitrago-Suarez (2004, in prep.) recognizes eight species including the Magdalena species described in the present paper and two new species from the Orinoco river basin. 3

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