Notholebias (Costa 2008) 4 Arten


Monophyly and taxonomy of the Neotropical seasonal killifish genus Leptolebias (Teleostei: Aplocheiloidei: Rivulidae), with the description of a new genus.

Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society v. 153 (no. 1): 147-160.



Type species: Cynolebias minimus (G. S. Myers, 1942)


Type locality: along the road to Rio, 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Itaquahy (today Itaguaí), state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 




Notholebias vermiculatus


Notholebias gen nov.


A phylogenetic analysis based on morphological characters indicates that Leptolebias Myers, 1952, a genus of small killifishes highly threatened with extinction, from Brazil, is paraphyletic. As a consequence, Leptolebias is restricted in this study to a well-supported clade that includes Leptolebias marmoratus (Ladiges, 1934), Leptolebias splendens (Myers, 1942), Leptolebias opalescens(Myers, 1942), and Leptolebias citrinipinnis (Costa, Lacerda & Tanizaki, 1988), from the coastal plains of Rio de Janeiro, and Leptolebias aureoguttatus (Cruz, 1974) (herein redescribed, and for which a lectotype is designated) and Leptolebias itanhaensis sp. nov., from the coastal plains of São Paulo and Paraná, in southern Brazil.Leptolebias is diagnosed by three synapomorphies: a caudal fin that is longer than deep, a single anterior supraorbital neuromast, and dark pigmentation that does not extend to the distal portion of the dorsal fin in males. A key is provided for the identification of species of Leptolebias. Three species formerly placed in Leptolebias, Leptolebias minimus (Myers, 1942), Leptolebias fractifasciatus (Costa, 1988), and Leptolebias cruzi (Costa, 1988), are transferred to Notholebias gen. nov., which is hypothesized to be the sister group to the clade comprising Leptolebias, Campellolebias Vaz-Ferreira & Sierra, 1974, and Cynopoecilus Regan, 1912. Notholebias gen nov. is diagnosed by two synapomorphies: a narrow basihyal and the presence of iridescent bars on the caudal fin in males; and three features interpreted as plesiomorphic, but not occurring in Leptolebias, Campellolebias, or Cynopoecilus, the presence of dermosphenotic, well-developed contact organs on the pectoral fin in males, and an opercular region with red bars in males. ‘Leptolebias’leitaoi, a species from Bahia, in north-eastern Brazil, is considered as having an uncertain phylogenetic position, as all known preserved material is presently lost, and the species may be extinct. © 2008 The Linnean Society of London, 

Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 153, 147–160.


Notholebias cruzi (W. J. E. M. Costa, 1988)

Sistematica e Distribuçao do Complexo de espécies Cynolebias minimus (Cyprinodontiformes, Rivulidae), com a descriçao de duas espécies novas. Revta. Bras. Zool., 5 (4): 563, figs. 3, 4g-4i.

Type locality: near Barra de São João, Casimiro de Abreu, Rio de Janeiro State, Brasil.

Notholebias fractifasciatus (W. J. E. M. Costa, 1988)

Sistematica e Distribuçao do Complexo de espécies Cynolebias minimus (Cyprinodontiformes, Rivulidae), com a descriçao de duas espécies novas. Revta. Bras. Zool., 5 (4): 562, figs. 2, 4d-4f.

Type locality: near Inoã, Maricá, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

Notholebias minimus (G. S. Myers, 1942) (Barredtail pearlfish)

Studies on South American Freshwater Fishes I. Stanford Ichthyological Bull., 2 (4): 109.

Type locality: along the road to Rio, 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Itaquahy (today Itaguaí), state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 


Notholebias minimus "Seropedica"


Notholebias vermiculatus W. J. E. M. Costa & Amorim, 2013

Delimitation of cryptic species of Notholebias, a genus of seasonal miniature killifishes threatened with extinction from the Atlantic Forest of south-eastern Brazil (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae). 

Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 24 (1): 63-72.


Notholebias, a genus of seasonal miniature killifishes from south-eastern Brazil, contains two species threatened with extinction, N. minimus and N. fractifasciatus, and one possibly extinct species N. cruzi. These species are mainly distinguishable by male colour patterns. Species limits were tested using a combination of morphological characters and phylogenetic trees derived from the analyses of 650 bp sequences comprising a fragment of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase I, taken from 16 specimens representing four populations along the whole geographic distribution of the genus, excluding the area inhabited by N. cruzi. The analysis supports a fourth species, N. vermiculatus, new species, as an exclusive lineage endemic to the Saquarema lagoon system, sister to N. fractifasciatus, from which it differs by details of the caudal fin colour pattern in males. The new species differs from other congeners analysed by 14 unique nucleotide substitutions, exhibiting genetic distances of 9.8- 11.5 %.

Notholebias vermiculatus


Comparative morphology and classification of South American cynopoeciline killifishes (Cyprinodontiformes: Aplocheilidae), with notes on family-group

names used for aplocheiloids     (Costa 2016)


Vertebrate zoology 66 (2): 125–140 / 20.10.2016



Abstract A comparative morphological study involving all cynopoeciline killifishes indicates that Leptolebias marmoratus is more closely related to species of the genera Campellolebias and Cynopoecilus than to other species of Leptolebias, and that Mucurilebias leitaoi is the sister group of a clade comprising all other cynopoecilines. Leptopanchax, new genus, is described to place species that share urogenital papilla in males separated from the anal-fin origin by broad interspace, basal portion of the urogenital papilla in males not forming a pronounced wide structure, absence of thickened tissue on the basal portion of the anal fin in males, caudal fin oval and symmetrical in males, anterior proximal radials of the anal fin not placed in close proximity in males, presence of a broad iridescent golden stripe on the distal zone of the dorsal fin in males, and caudal fin with vermiculate dark red marks in males. Poecilopanchax, new subgenus of Cynopoecilus, is diagnosed by having the basihyal narrow, about rectangular, the interarcual element of the dorsal branchial arch ossified, the uncinate process of the third epibranchial distinctively widened, a long filamentous ray on the tip of the anal fin in males, caudal fin lanceolate in males, dark bars on the flank in females, branchiostegal region with intense red pigmentation in males, a brownish red stripe on the basal portion of the dorsal fin in males, and dark red marks extending to the antero-distal margin of the dorsal fin in males. This study follows an old classificatory scheme in which all aplocheiloids are placed in a single family, the Aplocheilidae.


Genus Notholebias Costa, 2008 Notholebias Costa, 2008: 156 (type species: Cynolebias minimus Myers, 1942, by original designation). 

Included species, distribution and habitat. Four species, N. cruzi (Costa, 1988), N. fractifasciatus (Costa, 1988), N. minimus (Myers, 1942), and N. vermiculatus Costa & Amorim, 2013, found in temporary pools within open vegetation formations, including coastal ’Restinga’, between Rio São João and Rio Guandu bains, south-eastern Brazil (Costa, 1988; Costa & Amorim, 2013). 



A new genus of miniature cynolebiasine from the Atlantic Forest and alternative biogeographical explanations for seasonal killifish distribution patterns in

South America (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae)  (Costa 2014)


Vertebrate zoology 64 (1): 23–33 / 16.05.2014


Abstract The analysis of 78 morphological characters for 16 species representing all the lineages of the tribe Cynopoecilini and three out-groups, indicates that the incertae sedis miniature species ‘Leptolebias’ leitaoi Cruz & Peixoto is the sister group of a clade comprising the genera Leptolebias, Campellolebias, and Cynopoecilus, consequently recognised as the only member of a new genus. Mucurilebias gen. nov. is diagnosed by seven autapomorphies: eye occupying great part of head side, low number of caudal-fin rays (21), distal portion of epural much broader than distal portion of parhypural, an oblique red bar through opercle in both sexes, isthmus bright red in males, a white stripe on the distal margin of the dorsal fin in males, and a red stripe on the distal margin of the anal fin in males. Mucurilebias leitaoi is an endangered seasonal species endemic to the Mucuri river basin. The biogeographical analysis of genera of the subfamily Cynolebiasinae using a dispersal-vicariance, event-based parsimony approach indicates that distribution of South American killifishes may be broadly shaped by dispersal events. The analysis supports south-eastern Brazilian coastal plains as the centre of dispersal for cynolebiasine killifishes. Alternative biogeographical explanations are compared and possible dispersal routes and means of dispersal are discussed.