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Unravelling taxonomic and biological aspects of the giant trahira, Hoplias lacerdae Miranda-Ribeiro, 1908 (Teleostei, Characiformes, Erythrinidae), a threatened species in the State of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil

Abstract

In the present study we will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to elucidate different aspects related to the taxonomy and the natural history of the wolf fish, Hoplias lacerdae, a large species occurring in the Ribeira river basin, in São Paulo, and in the Uruguay river basin, in southern Brazil and in neighboring countries such as Uruguay and Argentina. The research will include: (i) a detailed taxonomic review of H. lacerdae, based on new specimens from the Ribeira river and the Uruguay river basins, including DNA barcoding technique; ii) the mapping of the occurrence of H. lacerdae in the Ribeira river basin, in order to obtain past and current data on its catch, as well as (iii) the obtaining of basic biological on the feeding habits and the reproduction of the species. We expect that the integrated work of professionals with specializations that cover all the lines of action of the study will provide an intense interaction among scientists, undergraduate students and fishers, with the generation of information of great relevance in the context of the Neotropical ichthyology. Given the taxonomic problem and a need of the management of the different fisheries that affect H. lacerdae, as well as the knowledge gaps on its natural history, it is expected that the results obtained with the use of alpha and molecular taxonomy, scientific fishing and ethnoecology, will be able to reveal unprecedented information and contribute significantly to the conservation of a large fish species that occurs in densely populated areas that are under strong anthropogenic impact. (AU)

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