Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Trichomycteridae
(Pencil or parasitic catfishes) > Trichomycterinae
Etymology: Trichomycterus: Greek, thrix = hair + Greek, mykter, -eros = nose (Ref. 45335); rubbioli: Named for Ezio Rubbioli, speleologist, the first explorer of Serra do Ramalho caves, who brought this new species to the attention of the authors. A noun in apposition.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical
South America: subterranean waters in at least two caves of the same cave system in the Serra do Ramalho karst area, middle São Francisco River basin, Brazil: Lapa dos Peixes and Gruna da Água Clara.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 6.4 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 91769)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 7. Can be easily distinguished from epigean and most hypogean congeners by three distinctive, non-exclusive characters: highly reduced skin pigmentation (except for Trichomycterus gorgona and cave-restricted congeners, Trichomycterus chaberti, Trichomycterus itacarambiensis, Trichomycterus spelaeus, Trichomycterus sandovali, Trichomycterus santanderensis, Trichomycterus uisae and Trichomycterus dali); reduced eyes, visible externally as small black or reddish-brown spots (except for Trichomycterus gorgona and the hypogean Trichomycterus chaberti, Trichomycterus itacarambiensis, Trichomycterus santanderensis, Trichomycterus uisae and Trichomycterus sketi); and barbels long, especially nasal (86.9-127.1% of HL) and maxillary (98.1-129.3% of HL) (except for Trichomycterus longibarbatus and the hypogean Trichomycterus spelaeus, Trichomycterus santanderensis, Trichomycterus uisae, Trichomycterus sketi and Trichomycterus dali). These characters, in combination, separate this species from all hypogean congeners except for Trichomycterus santanderensis and Trichomycterus uisae. Further differs from almost all congeners, including Trichomycterus santanderensis and Trichomycterus uisae (except for Trichomycterus hualco, Trichomycterus sketi and Trichomycterus dali) by having I, 9 pectoral-fin rays (Ref. 91769).
Occurs in limestone caves. Found concentrated in places with the bottom formed by clay and small blocks of limestone, usually hiding under these blocks and inside crevices in the walls, thereby allowing a strong cryptobiotic habit. When not hidden, this species prefers to stay on the bottom and on walls (rcky and silt substrate) with occasional incursions into the midwater and surface. Inhabits water bodies formed by infiltration in the rock, and, because of this, it must be considered fragile and as a priority in conservation programs of Brazilian karstic areas (Ref. 91769).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Bichuette, M.E. and P.P. Rizzato, 2012. A new species of cave catfish from Brazil, Trichomycterus rubbioli sp.n., from Serra do Ramalho karstic area, São Francisco River basin, Bahia State (Silurifomes: Trichomycteridae). Zootaxa 3480:48-66. (Ref. 91769)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00490 (0.00197 - 0.01219), b=3.08 (2.86 - 3.30), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .