John S. Sparks, Prosanta Chakrabarty
American Museum Novitates 2012 (3764), 1-28, (11 December 2012) https://doi.org/10.1206/3764.2
KEYWORDS: Eocene, Grotte de Vitane, karst, Mahafaly Plateau, sinkhole, Subterranean, Typhleotris mararybe, sp. nov., Vitany
Troglobitic cavefishes of the genus Typhleotris, endemic to coastal southwestern Madagascar, are taxonomically reviewed and a new darkly pigmented species, Typhleotris mararybe, is described from an isolated karst sinkhole on the coastal plain below the Mahafaly Plateau. The new species, known only from Grotte de Vitane (Vitany) near the town of Itampolo, is unique among blind cavefishes in being uniformly darkly pigmented, rather than fully depigmented or exceptionally light in coloration. In addition to its dark coloration (vs. depigmented, translucent white body in congeners), the new species can be distinguished from its two congeners, Typhleotris madagascariensis and T. pauliani, by the sculpted, bony (vs. fleshy) appearance of its head with strongly protruding lateral ethmoid, sphenotic, and pterotic bones, and an elevated vertebral count.