Widemouth blindcat

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Widemouth blindcat
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Ictaluridae
Genus: Satan
C. L. Hubbs & R. M. Bailey, 1947
Species: S. eurystomus
Binomial name
Satan eurystomus
C. L. Hubbs & R. M. Bailey, 1947

The widemouth blindcat (Satan eurystomus) is a species of North American freshwater catfish endemic to Texas in the United States. It is the only representative of the genus Satan.

The widemouth blindcat's closest relative is the flathead catfish, Pylodictis olivaris.[2]

It was first discovered inhabiting a well, and is adapted for a lightless underground environment. This species is distributed in five artesian wells penetrating the San Antonio Pool of the Edwards Aquifer in and near San Antonio, Texas.[3] These fish have been found with crustacean exoskeletons in their stomachs, and may be the top carnivore in their habitat.[2]

Like other cavefish, the widemouth blindcat lacks pigmentation and has 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. The swim bladder in these fish is reduced, and the skull is mostly cartilaginous and not well-ossified, unlike the adults of most larger ictalurids. The lateral line is fragmentary and never reaches past the anterior part of the anal fin. This species also has a few paedomorphic traits (indicated by small size, kidney morphology, and weak ossification of the skeleton).[2] This species grows to about 13.7 cm (5.4 in) TL.[3]

The widemouth blindcat is a vulnerable species; it is threatened by groundwater pollution.[3]

References[edit]

  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 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. doi:10.2307/1447075. JSTOR 1447075. 
  3. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). "Satan eurystomus" in FishBase. December 2011 version.