Armored Catfish (Family Loricariidae) in Costa Rican Streams Outline

This topic submitted by Leslie Rieck ( at 10:30 AM on 3/14/07.

A beautiful sunrise over Drake Bay near Corcovado in Costa Rica. See other beautiful phenomena from Costa Rica.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

I. Introduction
A. General Anatomy
B. Species Particular to Costa Rica
C. Habitat
D. Food Sources
E. Reproduction (possibly)
F. Evolution (Possibly)
II. Competition/Interaction with other Algae- and Detritus-Eating Organisms
A. Shrimp
B. Insects
C. Other Fish
III. Effect on Algae Populations
A. Blue-Green and Green
B. Diatoms
IV. Effect on Sediment Composition and Density
A. Inorganic Sediment Mass
B. Organic Ash-Free Dry Mass
V. Effect on Biodiversity of Entire Ecosystem
A. Role in Food Chain
B. Effect on Organisms lower on food chain
C. Effect on Organisms higher on food chain
D. Is their effect on the community natural?
VI. Conclusion
A. Are there any similar species in other habitats?
B. What makes these fish unique? Why are they of special interest?


Pringle, C.M. and T. Hamazaki. "The Role of Omnivory in a Neotropical Stream:
Separating Diurnal and Nocturnal Effects." Ecology 79(1) pp. 269-280.

Flecker, A.S., B.W. Taylor, E.S. Bernhardt, J.M. Hood, W.K. Cornwell, S.R.
Cassatt, M.J. Vanni, and N.S. Altman. "Interactions between Herbivorous
Fishes and Limiting Nutrients in a Tropical Stream Ecosystem." Ecology
83(7)pp. 1831-1844.

Rosemond, A.D., C.M. Pringle, A. Ramirez and M.J. Paul. "A Test of Top-down
and Bottom-up Control in a Detritus Based Food Web." Ecology 82(8)
pp. 2279-2293

Schaefer, S.A. and G.V. Lauder. "Historical Transformation of Functional
Design: Evolutionary Morphology of Feeding Mechanisms in Loricarioid
Catfishes." Systematic Zoology 35(4) pp. 489-508.

Wootton, J.T. and M.P. Oemke. "Latitudinal differences in fish community
trophic structure, and the role of fish herbivory in a Costa Rican
Stream." Evironmental Biology of Fishes (35) pp. 311-319.

Flecker, A.S. "Fish Trophic Guilds and the Structure of a Tropical Stream: Weak
Direct vs. Strong Indirect Effects." Ecology 73(3) pp. 927-940.

Armored Catfish are relatively unique to South American neotropical lowland streams. They play a key role in the maintenance of the stream ecosystem by recycling sediment and algae. Plenty of research has been done, specifically regarding Costa Rican armored catfish, making it important to the scientific research currently underway in Costa Rica.

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