Michi Tobler, 2005
Cichlid Room Companion
Focus Central America

The systematic status of Cryptoheros altoflavus

By , 2005. image
Last updated on 11-Aug-2005

Classification: Taxonomy and phylogeny, Central and North America.

Male from Rio Caña A male of Amatitlania altoflava from Rio Caña, Pánama, in the aquarium of Jacques Blanc; Manesque [France]. Photo by Jacques Blanc. determiner Juan Miguel Artigas Azas

In 2001, Allgayer described a cichlid from the Rio Cañaveral (Rio Caña), Panama (Province Bocas del Toro), as Cryptoheros altoflavus (also known as A. sp. 'caña' up to then). C. altoflavus is closely related to C. nanoluteus from the Rio Guaramo basin in Panama (Province Boca del Toro). C. altoflavus can be differentiated from C. nanoluteus by its higher body, its longer head and the reduction of the black color pattern (Allgayer, 2001).

According to Christian & Xafer Hofer (personal communication), the elaboration of black pigmentation can vary tremendously within the same population, ranging from present as in C. nanoluteus to almost absent as in C. altoflavus. As known from other fish species, the body proportions (as body height) can vary among populations depending on environmental factors. Variation in black coloration as well as body proportions within and among populations can also be observed in C. nigrofasciatus (personal observation in several Costa Rican populations) and other Central American cichlids. Thus, fish designated as C. altoflavus might in fact be a geographical (ecological?) variant of C. nanoluteus rather then a separate species. Further investigations thus have to investigate within and among populations variation of this form. Such data can provide additional information if C. altoflavus is a separate species or a junior synonym of C. nanoluteus.

Breeding female A female of Amatitlania nanolutea guarding her fry in the wild. Photo by Rusty Wessel. determiner Juan Miguel Artigas Azas

References (1):


Tobler, Michi. (Aug 11, 2005). "The systematic status of Cryptoheros altoflavus". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Dec 08, 2023, from:

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