Based on a combination of intensive literature review, electronic database searches, re-identification of museum specimens and fieldwork, we hereby provide an updated checklist of the freshwater fishes of continental and insular Costa Rica. This checklist, systematically arranged at the ordinal and familial level, includes nomenclatural revisions, distributional information, and when appropriate, cross-references on the basis of Bussing (1998). According to our results, the native Costa Rican freshwater fish fauna is composed by 250 species, divided into 119 genera, 49 families and 19 orders; increasing in 108 the number of species originally reported by Bussing (1998). By far, the vast majority of these species, according to their supposed tolerance to salinity, are peripheral (63.2%), followed by secondary freshwater fishes (23.6%); only 13.2% are primary freshwater fishes. 24 species in this checklist appear to be endemic to Costa Rica. In addition to the native fauna 8 exotic species are reported.
A new species of Chimaera Linnaeus 1758 is described from three specimens collected from off the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Peru. Chimaera orientalis n. sp., the first species of the genus described from the eastern Pacific Ocean, is distinguished from its other congeners by a combination of coloration and morphology. Additionally, new records of occurrence for another four species of chimaeroid fishes (Harriotta raleighana (Goode & Bean 1895), Rhinochimaera africana Compagno, Stehmann & Ebert 1990, Hydrolagus colliei Lay & Bennett 1839, and H. macrophthalmus de Buen 1959) previously unknown for the continental shelf of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Central America are reported. A key to the eastern Pacific species of the order Chimaeriformes is also presented.
An annotated and photographically illustrated checklist with DNA barcodes of the species of bony fishes collected during a month-long research cruise of the Spanish Research vessel B/O Miguel Oliver is presented. The vessel made trawls on the continental shelf of the Pacific coast of Central America, in November-December 2010, at depths of 108–1625 m. This list, based on 707 specimens (of a total of 876 specimens collected during the whole expedition), includes 129 species belonging to 15 orders, 61 families, and 97 genera. New information is presented on the geographical distributions of more than a third of those species, with 29 species (22.4%) representing new records from Central American waters and 17 species (13.2%) having expanded latitudinal ranges. Data on capture depths demonstrate increased depth ranges due to new minimum and/or maximum known depths for 31 species, i.e. 24% of those captured. Tissue samples from frozen specimens were used to obtain DNA barcodes of 682 (96.5%) individuals belonging to 118 species (91.4% of those recorded here), which have been made publically available in Genbank. Those data include barcodes for 84 species (65.1% of the total collected, and 77.1% of those for which barcodes were obtained) and 30 genera (30.9% of those collected) for which no species barcodes have been previously published. Barcodes of 54 species represent the first genetic sequences of any type published for those species. The abundance of new data indicate that there is still much to learn about the composition and geographical and depth distributions of the fish fauna of the shelf edge and continental slope of this region.
A checklist of the marine and estuarine fishes of the inner part of the Gulf of Nicoya, Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Central America, was compiled by examining a museum fish collection, resulting in 72 families and 274 species. Of these species, 127 (46.4%) were marine species and 147 (53.6%) were estuarine-associated species. In terms of their life history and considering the habitat type classification, 188 (almost 70% of the total) were categorized as species inhabiting soft-bottom habitats, reflecting the large estuarine environment and rich fish diversity of the Gulf despite its relatively small area in the tropical Eastern Pacific region. Furthermore, the list contains 13 threatened species of IUCN Red List, which need further research to understand their abundance and their exposure to habitat loss in the Gulf. Further detailed studies on its fish fauna and habitat are needed to better understand and conserve biodiversity within the whole Gulf.
The gross morphology of the brain of Rineloricaria heteroptera and its relation to the sensory/behavioural ecology of the species is described and discussed. The sexual and ontogenetic intraspecific variation in the whole brain length and mass, as well as within/between the eight different brain subdivisions volumes, is also examined and discussed. Negative allometry for the whole brain length/mass and relative growth of the telencephalon and optic tecta was observed. Positive allometry was observed for the relative growth of the olfactory bulbs and medulla oblongata. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses did not reveal significant differences in the brain subdivision growth rates among sexes and/or developmental stages, except for the optic tectum and some portions of the medulla oblongata, with juveniles and males showing more developed optic tecta and medullary subdivisions, respectively. The growth rates for each brain subdivision were relatively constant, and the slopes of the growth equations were almost parallel, except for those of the olfactory bulbs and medulla oblongata subdivisions, suggesting some degree of tachyauxesis of subdivisions against the entire brain. The corpus cerebelli was the more voluminous brain subdivision in most specimens (principally adults), followed by the optic tectum (the more voluminous subdivision in juveniles), hypothalamus, and telencephalon, in that order. Differences in the number of lamellae and relative size of the olfactory organ were also detected among developmental stages, which were more numerous and larger in adults. Based on these results, it is possible to infer an ontogenetic shift in the habitat/resource use and behaviour of R. heteroptera. Vision, primarily routed through the optic tectum, could be fundamental in early stages, whereas in adults, olfaction and taste, primarily routed through the olfactory bulbs and medulla oblongata, play more important roles.
The knowledge of the Costa Rican freshwater fish fauna continues to grow given the discovery of new taxa, the recognition of taxa resurrected from synonymy and the corroboration of new country records and new range extensions. Moreover, recent advances in the understanding of the phylogenetic relationships and status of many supraspecific groups have led to numerous taxonomic and nomenclatural changes. Given this, the purpose of this paper is to update the known composition, distribution and clasification of the Costa Rican freshwater fish fauna taking as reference the most recent list for the country published by Angulo et al. (2013). A total of 23 new country records (i.e., species; distributed in 17 families and 21 genera), 33 new range extensions (distributed in 20 families and 30 genera) and several nomenclatural changes are reported, illustrated and discussed here. An updated and annotated checklist of the freshwater fishes of the country (including data for a total of 283 species, 13 of which are exotic, distributed in two classes, 27 orders, 55 families and 136 genera) is also provided.
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