Evolution of Species and Electric Signal Diversity
in the Neotropical Electric Fish Gymnotus

Project Description | Gymnotus | Personnel | Photographs | Signal Analysis | Bibliography

New Species | Habitats | Osteology | Electric Organ | Biogeography | EODs

New Species

Carl Linnaeus described the first species of Gymnotus, G. carapo, in 1758. Over two centuries later, in 1994 only nine valid described species of Gymnotus were known. Today there are currently 32 described species. This upsurge in species description largely reflects the efforts of Co-PI Albert, PI Crampton, the Brazilian ichthyologists Ricardo Campos-da-Paz and Flora Fernandes-Matioli, and the Colombian ichthyologist Javier Maldonado-Ocampo. Many species described in earlier species descriptions have also been formally redescribed and several frustrating taxonomic confusions have been resolved. Redescribed species include the type species G. carapo (Albert and Crampton 2003). Many specimens of Gymnotus are indiscriminately identified as G. carapo in field and museum studies. Other recently redescribed species include G. coatesi (Crampton and Albert 2004), G. coropinae (Crampton and Albert 2003) and G. cylindricus (Campos-da-Paz 1996). Ecological studies and ichthyological inventories are already beginning to profit from the resolved taxonomic status of Gymnotus. Both PIs are routinely contacted by ecologists and ichthyologists requsting identifications of Gymnotus species and reprints of species descriptions/redescriptions. We hope that Gymnotus will in the next few years become a benchmark taxon for thorough alpha level taxonomy and well known biogeographic distributions.


For photographs of recently described species click here

A ranked list of the number of species descriptions (first author or co-authored):

1st (20) James S. Albert

2nd (16) William G.R. Crampton

3rd (3) Francisco Mago-Leccia, Javier Maldonado-Ocampo, Dean Thorsen.

6th (2) Ricardo Campos-da-Paz, Flora Fernandes-Matioli, J. Hoedeman, F. LaMonte.

10th (1) W. Costa, M. Hagedorn, C. Linnaeus, N. Lovejoy, R.R. Miller, F. Steinbachner, A. Valenciennes.

The table below summarizes the current valid species (including publications in press). This table was last updated on: 1 September 2004. The most recent species addition is Gymnotus pantanensis.

 

Group

Species

Geographical Range

Habitat

A

G. cylindricus LaMonte, 1935

MA

TS

A

G. maculosus Albert & Miller, 1995

MA

TS

B

G. anguillaris Hoedeman, 1962

GU, OR, WA

TS, BF

B

G. cataniapo Mago-Leccia, 1994

GU, OR

TS, BF

B

G. coatesi LaMonte, 1935

EA , WA

TS

B

G. coropinae Hoedeman, 1962

EA, GU, OR, WA

TS

B

G. javari Albert, Crampton & Hagedorn, 2003

WA

TS, BF

B

G. jonasi Albert & Crampton, 2001

WA

WF

B

G. melanopleura Albert & Crampton, 2001

WA

WF

B

G. onca Albert & Crampton, 2001

WA

WF

B

G. panamensis , Albert & Crampton, 2003

MA

TS

B

G. pantanensis Fernandes-Matioli & Albert 2004

PA

TS, WF

B

G. pantherinus (Steindachner, 1908)

SE

TS

B

G. pedanopterus Mago-Leccia, 1994

EA, GU, OR

TS, BF

B

G. stenoleucus Mago-Leccia, 1994

EA, GU

TS, BF

C

G. arapaima Albert & Crampton, 2001

WA

TS, BF, WF

C

G. ardilai Maldonado-Ocampo & Albert 2004

NW

TS

C

G. bahianus Campos-da-Paz & Costa, 1996

NE

TS

C

G. carapo Linnaeus, 1758

EA, GU, NE, OR, WA

TS, BF, WF

C

G. choco Albert, Crampton & Maldonado-Ocampo, 2003

PS

?

C

G. curupira Crampton, Thorsen & Albert, 2004

EA , WA

TS

C

G. diamantinensis Campos da Paz, 2002

EA

BF

C

G. esmeraldas Albert & Crampton, 2003

PS

?

C

G. henni Albert, Crampton & Maldonado-Ocampo, 2003

PS

?

C

G. inaequilabiatus ( Valenciennes, 1847)

PA, SE

WF

C

G. mamiraua Albert & Crampton, 2001

WA

WF

C

G. obscurus Crampton, Thorsen & Albert, 2004

WA

WF

C

G. paraguensis Albert & Crampton, 2003

PA

WF

C

G. sylvius Albert & Fernandes-Matioli 1999

PA, SE

TS, WF

C

G. tigre Albert & Crampton, 2003

EA , WA

WF

C

G. ucamara Crampton, Lovejoy & Albert, 2003

WA

WF

C

G. varzea Crampton, Thorsen & Albert, 2004

WA

WF

TABLE: Thirty-two valid species of Gymnotus with affiliation to species groups, geographical range and habitat. Species groups are: A, G.cylindricus; B, G. pantherinus; C, G. carapo (see text). Geographical regions follow Albert (2001) with the division of the Amazon into Eastern and Western portions at the watersheds of the Rio Negro-Rio and the Rio Madeira-Tapajós EA, Eastern Amazon; GU, Guyana Shield, OR, Orinoco Basin, MA, Middle America; NE, northeastern Brazil; PA, Paraguay-Paraná; PS, Pacific Slope; SE, southeast coast Brazil, Uruguay; WA, Western Amazon. Habitats are: TS, terra firme systems and their seasonally flooded lower reaches or coastal streams/rivers; BF, blackwater or other nutrient poor rivers with seasonal flood cycle; WF, whitewater várzea floodplain. Habitat data from museum records and field observations.