Willem Heinjs has documented in this article the presence of a beautiful strain of Cryptoheros nigrofasciatus living at the base of The Concepción volcano in the Ometepe island of lake Nicaragua. Of more interest even is a population of Tomocichla tuba found in this small habitat. A lovely travel log that makes you dream about this wonderful place.
Central American cichlid taxonomy has been in turnoil since the breaking of the Cichlasoma genus by Sven Kullander in 1983. Since that time, much has been learnt and a base for a more stable taxonomic classification is about to be reached. The last paper by Oldrich Rican and collaborators takes into account an unprecendent number of cichlid species and an equally unprecedent number of genetic and morphological characteristics to produce probably the most updated phylogenetic view of these organisims. Has a stable base for taxonomic classification has been reached? we are getting close to, but we likely are not there yet.
The wonderful underwater world of the Nicaraguan crater lakes, where sympatric evolution is leading their cichlid fauna in unsuspecting ways, by one of the top Central American Cichlid authorities in the world, Willem Heijns, who spent hundreds of hours filming this behavior of this fascinating fauna.
Hybrids have come to form part of our hobby, how should we look at them?.
The Nicaraguan crater lake fauna is being uncovered and many new questions arise as this happens. Not anymore are Amphilophus citrinellus and A. labiatus the only species we knew, but an incredibe assortment of forms that could potentially derive into up to 40 species is teaching us about how convergent and sympatric evolution work.
Observations in aquarium of the complex and still poorly understood cichlid fauna of the wonderful Nicaraguan crater-lakes, with descriptions of first time observed behavior for some of the species, through the glass clearly!.
Observations in the aquarium of Archocentrus centrarchus, with information about the sucessful spawning of this beautiful Central American cichlid from the San Juan river basin in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
The taxonomic dilemma of Symphysodon, the genus for the majestic discus fish, described as early as 1840 by the Austrian ichthyologist Johann Jakob Heckel and with only two species included, has generated such a confusion by the not very carefully prepared taxonomic papers that have dealt with it, that a detailed research and account of the history of the name and nomenclature acts involved was in order. In this article Willem Heijns has covered in a very clear and detailed way the problems involved with the specific names, and shed light on a solution to this dilemma, which is supported by the arguments presented by the cichlid taxonomy expert Martin Geerts.
Nicaragua is more than crater lakes, and the difficult to access northern area had been poorly explorated in terms of fish. Willlem Heijs tells us about the result of his explorations into this unkown area. Is it all discovered?.
The taxonomic history of the genus Australoheros, including a review of the several phylogenetic papers published to date that try to explain the origin of the species in this genus is comprehensively covered. A taxonomic key is offered for sixteen described and one potentially undescribed species, as well as comments on the validity of the species described to date. The article includes tables and beautiful color illustrations for ten species and a distribution map for the genus.
The intriguing taxonomic history of the demise and resurrection of one of the once more numerous cichlid genera; Cichlasoma. What is next, how do we have to call the species once in that genus and what is the origin of the resurrected genera.
After the original description by Albert Günther of the popular convict cichid as Heros nigrofasciatus back in 1867, its taxonomic history has been far from stable. The search for a proper scientific name and the relationships of this popular cichlid with the rest of the Central American cichlid species took well over 100 years, but it now seems that has reached a stable status, at least in our current understanding of what species. Willem Heijns explains the different views since the early times and in an easy to understand manner significantly widens our understanding of what can be behind a fish name and its relationships.