Rare Blind Catfish Found in US for First Time

The Mexican blindcat is small, translucent, and eyeless
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2016 4:10 PM CDT
Rare Blind Catfish Found in US for First Time
Two Mexican blindcats were discovered in Texas last month, the first time they've ever been confirmed outside Mexico.   (Dant? Fenolio/University of Texas Austin)

Two new Mexican immigrants have been discovered in Texas: a pair of super rare blind catfish. According to a press release, until last month the Mexican blindcat was only confirmed to exist in Mexico. Then two were found in a limestone cave at Texas' Amistad National Recreation Area and identified by the University of Texas' Dean Hendrickson. "I've seen more of these things than anybody, and these specimens look just like the ones from Mexico," Hendrickson says. Mexican blindcats have no eyes and a pinkish-white color due to the blood that can be seen through their translucent skin, CBS DFW reports. The fish are less than 3 inches long and live in the complete darkness of water-filled caves.

The Mexican blindcat was first described in Mexico, where it's an endangered species, in 1954. There have been rumored sightings in Texas since the 1960s, but nothing was confirmed until May. Their discovery in Texas strengthens a theory that underground caves connect an aquifer below Mexico and Texas. The two Mexican blindcats found in Texas have been sent to a special facility at the San Antonio Zoo, the AP reports. They are not currently on view to the public. The Mexican blindcat is now the third species of blindcat in the US, along with the toothless blindcat and the widemouth blindcat. All of them are in Texas. (People have killed to get their hands on this fish.)

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