Drawing by S. J. Walsh
Photo by Dean Hendrickson
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Prietella phreatophila Carranza 1954
Identification: The Mexican Blindcat lacks eyes and is pinkish white. The dorsal fin lacks a spine. The snout overhangs the mouth. The adipose fin is joined to the caudal fin without an obvious flap posteriorly. There are 15 caudal rays and 10-14 rakers on the first gill arch. The edge of the caudal fin is straight. There are well developed lateral-line canals and pores on the head. To 3 1/2 in. (9.2 cm) total length.
Range and Habitat: The Mexican Blindcat lives in subterranean waters in the Río Bravo drainage, Coahuila, Mexico. The species has been found at several locations but is listed as endangered by the Mexican government because of its restricted range.
Similar species: The other blind catfish in Mexico, the Phantom Blindcat, P. lundbergi, has a forked caudal fin, 17 caudal rays and 17 rakers on the first gill arch.