Updated checklist of the freshwater and estuarine fishes of French Guiana

Le Bail P.Y., Covain R., Jégu M., Fisch-Muller S., Vigouroux R., Keith P.

Date de parution: mars 2012
Volume: 36
Number: 1
Pagination: 293-319
doi: https://doi.org/10.26028/cybium/2012-361-016

How to cite: Le Bail, P.-Y., Covain, R., Jégu, M., Fisch-Muller, S., Vigouroux, R., & Keith, P. (2012). Updated checklist of the freshwater and estuarine fishes of French Guiana. Cybium, 36(1): 293-319. https://doi.org/10.26028/CYBIUM/2012-361-016


The fish fauna of French Guiana is among the best known of South America. Various fieldwork campaigns have been conducted since the publication of the “Atlas des poissons d’eau douce” de Guyane, particularly in poorly surveyed areas, leading to the discovery of new taxa, and numerous scientific publications have provided new insights concerning this fauna. An updated checklist of the fishes of French Guiana, including all of this new information, is therefore desirable. The list contains 416 species, 367 of which are strictly freshwater. Fish diversity is strongly correlated with catchment size and is, on average, higher in French Guiana than in Suriname. The largest groups are the Characiformes (41{%}), Siluriformes (33{%}) and Perciformes (13{%}). The relative abundance of taxonomic groups differs between catchments, probably reflecting the ecological character of the rivers. Eighty seven species, around a quarter of the ichthyofauna, are listed as endemic, but this may be an underestimate because a rather strict definition of endemism is used. The rate of endemism is strongly correlated with catchment size, with some families showing higher than average rates. Comparison of the number of species shared by the different catchments suggests a highly complex pattern of dispersal as a function of the catchment size, topography, and species. The Oyapock River seems to belong to a relatively distinct biogeographic zone influenced by the Amazon basin, but it is not possible to show a broader trend. These results provide an additional tool for environmental managers and decision makers.

Mots-clés: Conservation - distribution - Diversity - Guiana Shield - Ichthyofauna - Neotropics
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