Typhleotris mararybe 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Eleotridae

Scientific Name: Typhleotris mararybe Sparks & Chakrabarty, 2012
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 3 January 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 3 Jan 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-05-14
Assessor(s): FishBase team RMCA & Sparks, J.S.
Reviewer(s): Rasoloariniaina, R, Ravelomanana, T. & Raminosoa, N.
Contributor(s): Geelhand, D., Musschoot, T. & Boden, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Darwall, W.R.T.
Typhleotris mararybe is an elusive, blind cave-dwelling species endemic to Madagascar. It is only known from five localities (Rasoloariniaina et al. 2016) in a system of hydrologically connected caves near the town of Itampolo, representing one location. The extent of occurrence (EOO) of this species is estimated at 50 km². Given its restricted distribution, single location, and the ongoing decline of habitat this species is classified as Critically Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This blind, cave-dwelling species is endemic to Madagascar and is known from the type locality (24°42′07.1′′S, 43°57′51.3′E′): Grotte de Vitane (Vitany) and a system of hydrologically connected caves over an area of approximately 50 km². This cave system is located near the town of Itampolo on the coastal plain below and to the west of the extensive Mahafaly Plateau (Sparks and Chakrabarty 2012). 

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:50
Number of Locations:1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Typhleotris mararybe appears to be rather rare in the Vitany sinkhole (Sparks and Chakrabarty 2012). In other parts of the same cave system which are within the national park (Tsimanampesotse) the population is larger. The population appears to be stable based on observations over a five year period (J.R. Rasoloariniaina pers. comm. 2016).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Typhleotris mararybe is a troglobitic, blind cavefish that is found only in Grotte de Vitane, an isolated karst sink hole system with nearly vertical walls in southwestern Madagascar (Sparks and Chakrabarty 2012). The water in the sink hole of the type locality is uniformly deep (7.5–10 m) and relatively clear, deep and warm; much suspended large particulate material is present in the water column (Sparks and Chakrabarty 2012). Aquatic invertebrates, including water scorpions (Nepidae), shrimp and water spiders were found in the sink hole (Sparks and Chakrabarty 2012). Typhleotris mararybe occurs in open water within 1–1.5 m of the surface; upon being chased, it immediately dives toward the bottom (Sparks and Chakrabarty 2012). 


Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no use or trade information for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Typhleotris mararybe has an extremely circumscribed distribution. It occurs in a single system of hydrologically connected, fragile sinkholes that are easily accessible. Potential threats are disturbances by local inhabitants that occasionally access site (for water, etc.). This threat could increase as freshwater is difficult to come by in this arid region of Madagascar. However, some of the caves are located within the national park where they will be better protected.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The system of sinkholes is offered some protection in that it is difficult to access and one site is a sacred location to local inhabitants. Part of the system is located within the national park which offers some protection. The whole system is also now a Ramsar site following expansion of the site boundary to include the caves in 2014. The local population will also not touch the fish due to taboo.

Citation: FishBase team RMCA & Sparks, J.S. 2016. Typhleotris mararybe. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T57499221A58341136. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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