Michi Tobler, 2005
Cichlid Room Companion
Focus Central America

Potentially undescribed species of the genus Herichthys

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Last updated on 10-Aug-2005

The status of Herichthys forms of different rivers and river systems in México, especially those of the Herichthys cyanoguttatus species group, is still very difficult to asses. It is unclear if most of them are just geographical variants of H. carpintis or if each river system harbors its own Herichthys species that has a unique evolutionary history. Further research is certainly necessary to understand the radiation of Herichthys in Mexican river systems.

Herichthys sp. "Tuxpan/Pantepec"

Stawikowski & Werner (1998) report a yet undescribed Herichthys from the Rio Tuxpan, Vinazco and Pantepec (Veracruz, México). They described it as similar to H. carpintis. In H. sp. "Tuxpan/Pantepec", however, the ground color is turquoise and blue dots are only expressed on basis of fins. Furthermore, this form has nummerous red dots inhead region. The breeding coloration is similar to the H. carpintis one: throat and breast turn black, but black coloration does not reach the upper lip (Stawikowski & Werner, 1998)

The status of these form is yet unclear. It resembles Herichthys deppii from the Rio Nautla as well as H. sp "Cazones". Juan Miguel Artigas Azas (personal communication) sees this form as intermediate between H. carpintis and H. sp. "Cazones". Apparently, there are two forms of Herichthys in the Pantepec system, one of which resembles the Turquoise Herichthys from the Cazones basin. If these forms represent two species or if there is just intrapopulational variation in the amount of turquoise coloration is not known so far. Refer to a discussion on the Cichlid Room Companion for more details and pictures.

Herichthys sp. "Cazones" = Turquoise Herichthys

Another undescribed species of Herichthys can be found in the Rio Cazones (Puebla and Veracruz, México). Stawikowski & Werner (1998) describe the species as similar to H. carpinitis. Ground coloration is blue and the membranes of the dorsal and anal fin are colored red. This form is also characterized by a pattern of red and blue lines between eyes and mouth (Stawikowski & Werner, 1998).

Danko (2001) mentiones a personal communication by R. R. Miller according to which H. sp. "Cazones" may in fact be Regan's Herichthys geddesi .

Further information on this form can be found on the webpage of Juan Miguel Artigas Azas: Article by Danko (2001) and catalogue entry.

Herichthys sp. "Ebano"

Conckel (1993) pictures and undescribed Herichthys from the Rio Pánuco in México. Stawikowski & Werner (1998) hypothesized that this is not an undescribed species but rather a natural hybrid.

According to Juan Miguel Artigas Azas (personal communication), H. sp. "Ebano" is a riverine H. carpintis, which shows some minor differences (stripes vs. dots on the cheeks, rounded vs. indented profile) from the lacustrine H. carpintis from the type locality (Laguna del Carpintero, near Tampico, Tamaulipas, México). The fish pictured by Conkel seems different and is not found around Ebano channel, which is just an irrigation channel out of Rio Tampaon.

Herichthys sp. "White labridens" = Herichthys cf. labridens

In the Pánuco river system (San Luis Potosí, México) a cichlid similar to H. labridens (H. bartoni-group) can be found (H. cf. labridens in Stawikowski & Werner, 1998; H. sp. "White labridens" in Artigas Azas, 2004).

H. "White labridens" is characterized by awhite and black color pattern and was considered as a geographical variant of H. labridens by Taylor & Miller (1983).

Stawikowski & Werner (1998) describe two somewhat distinct geographical variants of H. sp. 'white labridens': A shiny white form can be found in the Rio Guayalejo and a blue form with red margins in dorsal and anal find in the Rio Tampaon. Juan Miguel Artgas Azas (2004 & personal communication), however, admits that the blue form reproted by Stawikowski & Werner (1998) is a riverine Herichthys pantostictus with a high degree of geographical variation. The blue form shares the spots that are distributed all over the body and the breeding color pattern with H. pantostictus, which however have a longer snout.

References (4):


Tobler, Michi. (Aug 10, 2005). "Potentially undescribed species of the genus Herichthys". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Apr 17, 2024, from: