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Viola (Rineloricaria longicauda) 2.jpg
Rineloricaria longicauda
Viola (Rineloricaria longicauda).jpg
Rineloricaria longicauda
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Loricariidae
Subfamily: Loricariinae
Tribe: Loricariini
Genus: Rineloricaria
Bleeker, 1862
  • Hemiloricaria
    Bleeker 1862
  • Leliella
    Isbrücker 2001

Rineloricaria (from the Greek, rhinos meaning nose, and the Latin, lorica meaning cuirass of leather) is a genus of freshwater tropical catfish (order Siluriformes) belonging to the Loricariidae family. They are commonly called whiptail catfish because of the long filament that grows out of the tip of the caudal fin that is characteristic of the genus. With the exception of R. altipinnis from Panama, they are native to the rivers of northern and central South America. Some species are regularly seen in the aquarium trade.


This genus was described by Pieter Bleeker in 1862, with R. lima as the type species.[1] This genus is by far one of the most speciose of the subfamily Loricariinae, containing about 30 species.[2] On the other hand, it is one of the least resolved genera.[3] In 2008, 14 new species were added to this genus.[2][4][5][6][7]

Hemiloricaria, Fonchiiichthys, and Leliella been variably considered synonyms of Rineloricaria; these genera were erected to account for differences in sexually dimorphic traits. However, the traits used to diagnose these genera have been thought to be insufficient.[2]


There are currently 63 recognized species in this genus: [8]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The genus is widely distributed on nearly the entire subcontinent, from Costa Rica to Argentina, on both slopes of the Andes.[9] Rineloricaria species are found in a large variety of habitats, including large rivers, streams, and lagoons, associated with bottoms consisting of sand or rocks, sometimes found in marginal vegetation. They are also found to tolerate environments with a wide temperature gradient.[6] Rineloricaria have an adaptive capacity enabling many species to exploit the most varied habitats; some species, such as R. strigilata, have been caught in highly polluted bodies of water and represent some of the main components of the ichthyological diversity in such habitats.[3]

Appearance and anatomy[edit]

The average length of a Rineloricaria catfish is about 13 cm (5 in) long.[citation needed] The fish are long, slender, have no visible barbels, an erect dorsal fin, a very thin caudal peduncle, and a narrow face. Coloration of the fishes are usually light brown with darker blotches, and have a dark dorsal fin.[citation needed] They are also covered with bony plates and have a sucker disk mouth, as is common with most fish in the Loricariidae family.


Sexual dimorphism includes hypertrophied development of the odontodes along the sides of the head, on the pectoral spines and rays, and predorsal area of mature males. Several species also show hypertrophied development of the odontodes on the entire caudal peduncle.[9] In males, the pectoral fin spine is often thick, short, and curved when compared to the female.[2] Rineloricaria are cavity brooders. Numerous eggs (often more than 100) are laid attached to one another in single layer masses on the cavity floor, and are brooded by males.[9] Rineloricaria exhibit high levels of karyotypic diversity with chromosome numbers ranging from 36 to 70.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2007). Species of Rineloricaria in FishBase. May 2007 version.
  2. ^ a b c d e Py-Daniel, Lúcia H. Rapp; Fichberg, Ilana (2008). "A new species of Rineloricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae: Loricariinae) from rio Daraá, rio Negro basin, Amazon, Brazil". Neotropical Ichthyology. 6 (3): 339–346. doi:10.1590/S1679-62252008000300007. 
  3. ^ a b Rodríguez, Mónica S.; Miquelarena, Amalia M. (2005). "A new species of Rineloricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Paraná and Uruguay River basins, Misiones, Argentina" (PDF). Zootaxa. 945: 1–15. 
  4. ^ a b Rodriguez, M; Miqualarena, A (2008). "Rineloricaria isaaci (Loricariidae: Loricariinae), a new species of loricariid catfish from the Uruguay River basin". Journal of Fish Biology. 73 (7): 1635–1647. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.02037.x. 
  5. ^ a b c Ingenito, Leonardo F. S.; Ghazzi, Miriam S.; Duboc, Luiz F.; Abilhoa, Vinícius (2008). "Two new species of Rineloricaria (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the rio Iguaçu basin, southern Brazil". Neotropical Ichthyology. 6 (3): 355–366. doi:10.1590/S1679-62252008000300009. 
  6. ^ a b c Fichberg, Ilana; Chamon, Carine C. (2008). "Rineloricaria osvaldoi (Siluriformes: Loricariidae): a new species of armored catfish from rio Vermelho, Araguaia basin, Brazil". Neotropical Ichthyology. 6 (3): 347–354. doi:10.1590/S1679-62252008000300008. 
  7. ^ Ghazzi, Miriam S. (2008). "Nine new species of the genus Rineloricaria (Siluriformes, Loricariidae) from Uruguay river, southern Brazil" (PDF). Iheringia: Série Zoologia. 98 (1): 100–122. doi:10.1590/S0073-47212008000100014. 
  8. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2011). Species of Rineloricaria in FishBase. December 2011 version.
  9. ^ a b c d Covain, Raphael; Fisch-Muller, Sonia (2007). "The genera of the Neotropical armored catfish subfamily Loricariinae (Siluriformes: Loricariidae): a practical key and synopsis" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1462: 1–40.