Michi Tobler, 2005
Cichlid Room Companion
Focus Central America

The systematic status of Herichthys geddesi

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

Classification: Taxonomy and phylogeny, North America.

Herichthys geddesi was described on the basis of six juvenile cichlids with a total length between 47 and 65 mm (Regan, 1905). The type locality is "southern México". Accoring to Stawikowski & Werner (1998), the meristic measurements to not allow to differentiate the type specimen from other cichlid species and even Regan's description - which is very general - gives no hint to further identify the species. Kullander (2003) notes that the validity of this taxon needs further research.

Since Regan's description is very short, I can give it here:

Regan (1905): A revison of the Fishes of the American Cichlid Genus Cichlasoma and of the Allied Genera. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 7 (16): 433-445.

Page 436: "3. Herichthys Geddesi, sp. n.

Depth of body 2.2-2.5 in length, length of head 2.6-2.8. Snout as long, or nearly as long, as postorbital part of head. Diameter of eye 2.75-3.25 in the length of head, interorbital width 3.3-3.6. Maxillary not extending to below the eye; premaxillary processes extending to above the anterior 0.25 of eye: jaws equal anteriorly; both jaws with the teeth of the outer series regularly increasing in size anteriorly; fold of the lower lip not continuous; cheek with 5 or 6 series of scales; 7 or 9 gill-rakers on the lower part of anterior arch. Sales 30 5/(13-14), 2 between lateral line and base of anterior rays of soft dorsal. Dorsal XVI-XVIII 11-12, commeneing above the opercular cleft, the spines subequal or slightly decreasing from the fifth or sixth to the fourteenth or fifteenth, the last 2/5 the the length of the head; the soft fin scaly at the base. Anal VI-VII 9-10. Pectoral 3/4-7/8 the length of head, extending to above origin of anal; ventral extending to anterior anal spines. (?Caudal subtruncate.) Caudal peduncle 1/2-2/3 as long as deep. Brownish, with 7 or 8 cross-bars bearing a series of blackish blotches below the lateral line; vertical fins spotted.

Southern México

1-6. (47-65 mm.) types of the species. Southern México. P. Geddes, Esq."

Sometimes cichlids with the name 'C.' geddesi can be found in the aquarium trade (see e.g. the pictures of W. Deproost). But these fish usually ermerge as Vieja species (mostly V. bifasciata; see also Stawikowski & Werner, 1998).

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

Mauricio de la Maza, however, doubted this view in a recent statment of the CichlidRoomCompanion forum giving evidence that H. geddesi might be a junior synonym to H. deppii (the whole thread can be seen here):

"II. The unnamed Herichtys: Herichthys sp. "Cazones" and H. sp. "Pantepec". Are they forms of H. geddessi, H. deppi or H. carpintis that have undergone certain degree of divergent evolution?

(Herichtys geddessi = Cichlasoma geddesi = Heros gedessi) (Regan 1905)

The following is from The Natural History Museum´s Fish Collection Database 21/12/2004:

BMNH 1880.4.7.40-45 (6) SYNTYPE
Country: México; LOCALITY; Hacienda del Hobo, between Veracruz and Tampico, México.

Where is/was Hacienda del Hobo between Veracruz and Tampico in 1880 located? Hacienda del Hobo actually is a misspelling of "Hacienda del Jobo". It must be reminded here that the "H" in Spanish is mute, and the word Hobo, which would be pronounced "obo" does not exist in the Spanish language. The phonetic sound "Hobo" in Spanish is spelled Jobo (which is a type of tree that produces yellow cherry-like tropical fruits) and the Hacienda del Jobo (pronounced "acienda del Hobo" in Spanish) was actually located in what now a days is Tlapacoyan, Veracruz. It belonged to Mr. Guadalupe Victoria, the first president of the Republic of México who died in Perote, Veracruz in 1843, but lived his last years in his beloved Hacienda. Tlapacoyan (and the former Hacienda) is irrigated by the rivers María de la Torre and Tlapacoyan, tributaries of the Río Bobos which forms the Tomata waterfall that is a tributary of the Nautla river. The Nautla system crosses the cities of Martinez de la Torre (founded in 1882) and the former French colony of San Rafael.

From the above it may be concluded that the Herichtys geddessi type (6 specimens) were actually collected somewhere in the Nautla River basin (probably the Maria de la Torre river) in Veracruz, and is probably a synonym of Herichtys deppi (Heckel, 1840) that inhabits the Nautla and the MIsantla river basins, and whose type specimens were apparently lost. It may also be concluded that neither the Herichtys sp. Cazones from the San Marcos/Cazones river that goes through Poza Rica nor the Herichtys sp. Pantepec from the Pantepec/Vinazco/Tuxpan system that goes through the city of Alamo are the H. geddessi type described by Regan in 1905. "

References (1):


Tobler, Michi. (Aug 11, 2005). "The systematic status of Herichthys geddesi". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Apr 17, 2024, from: