ARPHA Conference Abstracts : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
The Mexican Blindcat Project: new discoveries and future efforts
expand article infoAndrew Gluesenkamp, Dean A. Hendrickson§, Peter S. Sprouse|
‡ San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio, United States of America
§ BiodiversityCollections, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, United States of America
| Zara Environmental, LLC, Manchaca, United States of America
Open Access


The endangered Mexican blindcat (Prietella phreatophila, Carranza 1954) is one of only four described stygobitic ictalurid catfish in North America. Members of two monotypic genera (Satan eurystomus and Trogloglanis pattersoni) are known from the Edwards Aquifer in Texas and, until recently, Prietella (represented by P. lundbergi and P. phreatophila) was only known to occur in Mexico (northern Coahuila to southern Tamaulipas).  The recent discovery of P. phreatophila in a cave on the Amistad National Recreation Area in Val Verde County, Texas is the result of decades of sporadic effort on both sides of the US/Mexican border and has stimulated a renewed effort to investigate the distribution, ecology, evolutionary history, and conservation status of this species.  Collaborative efforts among The San Antonio Zoo, The University of Texas at Austin, Zara Environmental, and The National Park Service are currently focused on habitat surveys in Texas as well as captive husbandry and propagation.  Ongoing efforts with collaborators from the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, Área de Protección de Recursos Naturales Sabinas and the Laboratorio de Genética para la Conservación, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, La Paz include expanded fieldwork in Mexico, hydrogeologic studies, and surveys using environmental DNA.


​conservation, endangered species, endangered species, Mexico, Prietella

Presenting author

Andrew G. Gluesenkamp, Ph.D.

Presented at

ICSB 2018,  Aviero, Portugal


Héctor Espinosa, Danté Fenolio, Francisco Garcia-de León, Sarah Howard, Jack Johnson, Jean Krejca, National Park Service, Peter Sprouse, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and many volunteers.

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