This rare, eyeless catfish exists in total darkness, 900 feet below the surface under San Antonio, Texas. The widemouth blindcat swims in the groundwater in the Edwards Balcones Fault Zone Aquifer and is presumed to eat invertebrates and serves as a high-trophic level opportunistic predator. The only way we even know about this deep aquifer species is because it was captured through agriculture wells and artesian springs that pump groundwater to the surface. Unfortunately, this species has not been captured since 1978. This species was petitioned for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is undergoing review. Thanks to the efforts of our partners and the Texas Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, we are gaining distribution and water chemistry data that can be used for the species status assessment. This is one of only three known blind catfish species in the United States, and all three are found in Texas.
Location in Taxonomic Tree
A natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth or in the side of a hill or cliff. An irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams and caverns.
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