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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Stygichthys
Species: S. typhlops
Binomial name
Stygichthys typhlops
Brittan & J. E. Böhlke, 1965

Stygichthys typhlops, the blind tetra or Brazilian blind characid, is a species of fish in the Characidae family and the only member of the genus Stygichthys. It is endemic to caves in northern Minas Gerais, Brazil.[2] Like other cave-adapted fish (e.g. the cave form of the Mexican tetra), the Brazilian blind characid is blind and lacks pigmentation.[2] It reaches up to about 4.6 cm (1.8 in) in standard length.[2] It is solitary and when kept together in an aquarium, individuals are indifferent to each other.[3]

Initially only known from a specimen collected in 1962, it was rediscovered in 2004 by researchers led by the ichthyologist Dr Cristiano Moreira from the University of São Paulo.[2][4] According to locals it was relatively common in the Jaíba region until the early 1990s, but generally not seen afterwards as extensive water extraction had significantly lowered the water table, resulting in many wells and springs drying out. This represents a serious threat to the continued survival of Stygichthys typhlops.[2]

Although there are many cave-adapted catfish species in mainland South America, there are only two known cavefish species from other orders: Stygichthys typhlops and the knifefish Eigenmannia vicentespelaea.[5]


  1. ^ World Conservation Monitoring Centre (1996). "Stygichthys typhlops". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 1996: e.T20970A9240579. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.1996.RLTS.T20970A9240579.en. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Moreira, C. R.; Bichuette, M. E.; Oyakawa, O. T; de Pinna, M. C. C.; Trajano, E. (7 May 2010). "Rediscovery and redescription of the unusual subterranean characiform Stygichthys typhlops, with notes on its life history" (PDF Adobe Acrobat). Journal of Fish Biology. London: Wiley InterScience. 76 (7): 1815–1824. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02625.x. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2017). "Stygichthys typhlops" in FishBase. April 2017 version.
  4. ^ Walker, Matt (10 May 2010). "Rare subterranean fish rediscovered in Brazil". London: BBC News. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  5. ^ Romero, A., ed. (2001). The Biology of Hypogean Fishes. Developments in Environmental Biology of Fishes. ISBN 978-1402000768.