Toothless blindcat

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Toothless blindcat
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Ictaluridae
Genus: Trogloglanis
C. H. Eigenmann, 1919
Species: T. pattersoni
Binomial name
Trogloglanis pattersoni
C. H. Eigenmann, 1919

The toothless blindcat (Trogloglanis pattersoni) is a species of North American freshwater catfish endemic to Texas in the United States.

This species inhabits subterranean habitats[2] in five artesian wells penetrating the San Antonio Pool of the Edwards Aquifer in and near San Antonio, Texas.[3]

The toothless blindcat has no pigmentation and no externally visible eyes. The eye remnants are extremely reduced in size, with very little or no trace of a retina or lens; the optic tract is present, but always regresses before reaching the brain. In juveniles, the eye is under the skin, but as the fish grows, the eyes are withdrawn even further.[4] The head is as long as it is broad. The adipose fin is long and rounded at the end, and is connected to the caudal fin. The dorsal and pectoral fins have spines.[2] The swim bladder in these fish is reduced. The skull is mostly cartilaginous and not well-ossified, unlike the adults of most larger ictalurids. The lateral line is fragmented and reaches to between the anterior to the posterior end of the adipose fin. This species also has a few paedomorphic traits (indicated by small size, kidney morphology, and weak ossification of the skeleton).[4] This species may reach about 10.4 centimetres (4.1 in) TL.[3]

Its toothless, sucker-like mouth possibly indicates T. pattersoni is a detritivore.[4]


  1. ^ 2010 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. . Downloaded in August 2010.
  2. ^ a b Eigenmann, Carl H. (1919). "Trogloglanis pattersoni a New Blind Fish from San Antonio, Texas". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society: 397–400. 
  3. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). "Trogloglanis pattersoni" in FishBase. December 2011 version.
  4. ^ a b c Langecker, Thomas G.; Longley, Glenn (1993). "Morphological Adaptations of the Texas Blind Catfishes Trogloglanis pattersoni and Satan eurystomus (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae) to Their Underground Environment". Copeia. Copeia, Vol. 1993, No. 4. 1993 (4): 976–986. JSTOR 1447075. doi:10.2307/1447075.