Under Construction

Amaralia Fowler 1954

John P. Friel
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Notes about Terminal Taxa: Taxa whose names appear in quotes on this Tree of Life page are undescribed. In accord with articles 8 and 9 of the third edition of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN, 1985), I do not issue this page for permanent scientific record. This page is designated an unavailable work for nomenclatural purposes. All names for new genera and species are provisional and will become available when my manuscript describing the type specimens is published in an official work such as a peer reviewed journal.

Containing group: Aspredinidae


This genus is rare in museum collections but is widely distributed in the Amazon and Paraguay-Parana River systems.

Friel (1992) presents evidence for oophagy within Amaralia based on examination of the stomach contents of 23 specimens (17 A. hypsiura & 6 A. "oviraptor"). Seven individuals had masses of eggs such as those llustrated below. The eggs are similar in appearance to those of loricariid catfishes and in one case ingested embryos could be positively identified as loricariids. The other 16 specimens had empty stomachs. This is in striking contrast to the stomachs of other aspredinids which always contained at least some detritus and invertebrates (aquatic insect larve and terrestial insects).

Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window



A genus of medium sized banjo-catfishes (up to 133 mm SL) distinguished from all other genera of aspredinids by the following characters: contact between the frontal and supraoccipital bones; knobby ornamentation of the supracleithra; highly reduced dorsal fin with only 2-3 rays; deep, laterally compressed caudal peduncle; thickened "S" shaped procurrent caudal-fin rays; and trophic specialization on the eggs of other fishes. Other characters not unique to this genus but useful for identification include: head ornamentation well developed; 4 branchiostegal rays, pre-axial spine serrations reduced or absent and 9 caudal-fin rays.


Fowler, H. W. 1954. Os peixes de qua doce do Brasil. Arquivos de Zoologia do Estado de So Paulo, 9: 1-400.

Friel, J. 1994. A phylogenetic study of the Neotropical banjo catfishes (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Aspredinidae) Ph.D.thesis, Duke University, Durham, NC, 256 pp.

Kner, R. 1855 . Ichthyologische Beiträge. I. Über die Gattungen Aspredo und Chaca C. V. aus der Familie der Welse (Siluroidei). Sitzungsberichte der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 8: 92-105.

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Amaralia hypsiura
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © 1995 John P. Friel
About This Page

John P. Friel
Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, Ithaca, New York, USA

Page: Tree of Life Amaralia Fowler 1954. Authored by John P. Friel. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Friel, John P. 2000. Amaralia Fowler 1954. Version 14 April 2000 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Amaralia/15258/2000.04.14 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
close box

This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box


Page Content

articles & notes



Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page