ABSTRACT Members of the Leporinus desmotes species complex can be distinguished from other barred or banded congeners by the combination of nine distinct black bars across the head and trunk and long, pointed, laterally compressed and upward curving symphyseal dentary teeth. A taxonomic reassessment of this complex revealed two new species, one from the Orinoco and Negro rivers of Venezuela and Brazil, and the other from the Xingu and Tapajós rivers of Brazil. Both species are similar to L. desmotes and L. jatuncochi, but differ significantly in body shape morphology, coloration, and/or circumpeduncular scale counts. Genetic evidence also contributes to the recognition of both new species. This contribution also maps the geographic distribution of the four known species, and highlights the presence of an unusual meristic polymorphism within Leporinus desmotes sensu stricto that may suggest the presence of even more unrecognized diversity.