Michi Tobler, 2005
Cichlid Room Companion
Focus Central America

Short synopsis of Thorichthys Meek, 1904

By , 2005. image
Last updated on 31-Oct-2005

Type species: Thorichthys ellioti Meek, 1904

Distinctive characters: Miller & Nelson (1961) deliminated Thorichthys from the other 'Cichlasoma' (Herichthys and Heros inclusively) by the following characteristics:

  • No scales on the basis of the soft part of the analis and dorsalis
  • Truncate to lunate caudal fin, the lobes of which are typlically produced into filaments in the adult
  • Extension of the pectoral fin backward to or usually well beyond the origin of the analis
  • Produced snout with the preorbital region typically very deep
  • Color pattern: 5 or six vertical bars behind the head (the first 4 prominent), the 3rd with a blackish blotch on or below the lateral line
  • A red (from salmon to rose) intermandibular region
  • Subopercle typically with a conspicuous blackish blotch
  • Head and anterior body parts usually with prominent blue spots
  • Consistent development of eight sensory pores (5 on the mandible) between the tip of the chin and the angle of the opercle

Species currently included:

Thorichthys affinis C

Thorichthys aureus


Thorichthys callolepis


Thorichthys ellioti

C, N, A(Overview)

Thorichthys helleri

C, H (Arroyo Cristal), H (Rio Oxolotan)

Thorichthys meeki

C, H(Laguna Noh), H(Cenote Escondido), A(Overview)

Thorichthys pasionis

C, A(Overview)

Thorichthys socolofi

C, H(Laguna Noh)
C=CRC Catalogue, H=Habitat description, N=Note on nomenclature, A=Article

Distribution: Atlantic slope from South México, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras; from the Rio Papaloapan system to the Motagua drainage.

Further information: According to Hulsey et al. (2004), the genus Thorichthys is monophyletic. Miller & Taylor (1984) divided the genus Thorichthys in two groups of closely related species:

T. affinis-group T. helleri-group

T. affinis

T. helleri

T. meeki

T. aureus

T. pasionis

T. callolepis

T. ellioti (& T. sp. "Coatzacoalcos)

T. socolofi

Within the genus Thorichthys, there apparently are one or several undescribed species.

Thorichthys ellioti

Thorichthys ellioti male from Rio la Antigüa, Veracruz, México, in the aquarium of Rusty Wessel, Louisville. Photo by Spencer Jack.


Tobler, Michi. (Oct 31, 2005). "Short synopsis of Thorichthys Meek, 1904". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Apr 17, 2024, from: