Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New fish species discovered in Venezuela


A new species of bloodfin tetra, Aphyocharax yekwana, 50.7 mm (2 inches) standard length, from the Upper Caura River. Discovered during the AquaRAP expedition.

Photo copyright: Barry Chernoff and A. Machado-Allison.

Conservation International (CI) announced today the discovery of a tiny fish with a blood red tail in Venezuela’s Upper Caura River. Previously unknown to science, the bloodfin tetra (Aphyocharax yekwanae), is described in the March 2003 edition of the journal, "Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters."

The two-inch-long (50.7-mm-long) tetra is only one of 10 new species of fish found during a single expedition by CI’s Aquatic Rapid Assessment Program (AquaRAP) to the Caura River Basin in November 2000. The other species have yet to be described.

The RAP trip was organized by the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at CI to assess the biological diversity of the area, one of the most pristine and biologically intact in Venezuela.

The RAP team of national and international scientists recorded 399 plant and 278 fish species in the Caura River, including 10 new fish and one new shrimp species.

Because the Caura River Basin is so rich in animal and plant species and it is facing increasing threats from expanding agriculture frontiers, plans for a hydroelectric dam and commercial logging, conservationists are urging the Venezuelan government to create a new protected area in this region. Since its inception 13 years ago, RAP findings have boosted efforts to create new parks and protected areas in some of the biologically richest and most threatened places in the world.

"For every scientific expedition to the Caura River, researchers have recorded hundreds of species never seen before in the area," said Leeanne Alonso, RAP Senior Director at CI. "We’re just scratching the surface of what’s out there and I’m sure the Caura holds many more remarkable plants and animals that are completely new to science."

The Caura River Basin is home to 30 percent of all Venezuela’s recorded species and 28 percent of the country’s freshwater fish species. Comprised of inland and flooded forests, the vegetation around the basin is 85 percent intact and pristine, largely due to the indigenous Ye’kwana people, who carefully manage the area.

The bloodfin tetra was named after the Ye’Kwana people in Bolivar State, Venezuela in honor of their dedication towards protecting and managing their environment.

"The Caura River’s biological importance has been underscored by the new discoveries and the remarkable findings of the RAP expedition that clearly illustrate that the Caura is worthy of protection," said CI-Venezuela Director Franklin Rojas. "For thousands of years the Ye’kwana have recognized the beauty and biological importance of this area; their very way of life and social fabric revolves around protecting it."

The Caura River Basin sits atop the Guayana Shield, a single massive geological formation that runs beneath northeastern South America. Formed more than two billion years ago, the shield supports the single most intact tropical wilderness area in the world. The Caura River is one of the greatest tributaries of the Orinoco River.

Images and interviews available to journalists upon request.

Conservation International (CI) is an environmental organization working in more than 30 countries around the globe to protect biodiversity and to demonstrate that human societies can live harmoniously with nature. CI develops scientific, policy and economic solutions to protect threatened natural ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity. Read more about CI at

Pamela Moyer | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular doorstop could be key to new tuberculosis drugs
20.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Modified biomaterials self-assemble on temperature cues
20.03.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Scientists invented method of catching bacteria with 'photonic hook'

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Next Generation Cryptography

20.03.2018 | Information Technology

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>