Pedro Pereira Rizzato, Edmundo P. D. Costa-Jr., Eleonora Trajano and Maria Elina Bichuette
Trichomycterus dali, new species, is described from flooded limestone caves in Serra da Bodoquena karst area, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Central Brazil. The new species is diagnosed by a unique character in the genus, the presence of conspicuous, ridge-like adipose folds lining dorsally throughout the body. Trichomycterus dali can be further distinguished readily from epigean congeners by the reduction of eyes and skin pigmentation (except for T. gorgona), and from remaining congeners (i.e., all hypogean plus T. gorgona) by the total loss of eyes, not visible externally (except for T. sandovali and T. spelaeus). Other diagnostic features includes very long barbels, especially the nasal (99.3-143.5% HL) and the maxillary (97.0-131.3% HL), pectoral-fin ray count reaching I,9 and a unique cranial fontanel with a conspicuous constriction on the meeting point of supraoccipital and the two frontal bones. The troglobitic status of the species is suggested by the presence of troglomorphisms on an advanced degree, especially the reduction of skin pigmentation, the total loss of eyes and the enlarged barbels. In addition, the presence of a well developed adipose fold in adults may indicate a distinctive adaptation acquired by neoteny to withstand the food scarce conditions of its hypogean habitat.