Michi Tobler, 2005
Cichlid Room Companion
Focus Central America

Groups proposed for the species currently listed Insertae Sedis

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

Several Central American cichlids remain still without a valid generic afiliation. Although no genera were formally described for these species, authors attempted to group them in various species groups (i.e. Stawikowski & Werner, 1998).

"C." beani-group

'Cichlasoma' beani (Jordan, 1889)
Heros beani Jordan, 1889

'Cichlasoma' grammodes Taylor & Miller, 1980

'Cichlasoma' istlanum (Jordan & Snyder, 1899)
Heros istlanus Jordan & Snyder, 1899
Heros mento
Vaillant & Pellegrin, 1902
Cichlasoma (Parapetenia) leonhard-schultzei Ahl, 1935
Cichlasoma istlana fusca
de Buen, 1946

Distinctive characters: Stawikowski & Werner (1998) placed some piscivorous cichlids from México and Guatemala into the 'Cichlasoma' beani-group. All species inluded are more or less specialized fish eaters and share elaborated lips and large canines. They are comparatively large scales (28 to 30) along the lateral line (Stawikowski & Werner, 1998).

Distribution: Two of the species ('C.' beani and 'C.' istlanum) inhabit rivers on the Pacific versant of north and south México. "Cichlasoma grammodes is endemic in the upper Rio Grijalva system on the Atlantic versant of south México and Guatemala.

Further information: In preliminary phylogenetical analyses based on molecular methods, the two Pacific species - "C." beani and 'C.' istlanum - group together. "C." grammodes, however, seems not to be closely related (Concheiro Pérez, personal communication).

"C." bocourti-group

'Cichlasoma' bocourti (Vaillant & Pellegrin, 1902)
Neetroplus bocourti Vaillant & Pellegring, 1902

'Cichlasoma' pearsei (Hubbs, 1936)
Herichthys pearseri Hubbs, 1936

Distinctive characters: Stawikowski & Werner (1998) proposed to group three species into the "C." bocourti-group: Neetroplus bocourti Vaillant & Pellegrin, 1902; Herichthys pearsei Hubbs, 1936 and Herichthys geddesi Regan, 1905. The status of Regan's H. geddesi, however, is so far unclear (most likely it is a synonym to Herichthys deppei: What is "C." geddesi?) and is therefore not included to this group. 'C.' bocourti and 'C.' pearsei share a golden ground coloration. They differ from the north Mexican Herichthys in coloration (lack of iridescent spots and high-contrast breeding coloration typical for Herichthys) and morphology (body shape, fins and scales; Stawikowski & Werner, 1998). Both species have 30 to 31 sclaes along the lateral line. The teeth are truncate, labiolungually flattened and bicuspid (Kullander, 1996). They resemble Vieja in terms of body shape and coloration.

Distribution: South México, Guatemala, Belize.

"C." urophthalmus-group

'Cichlasoma' aguadae Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus aguadae
Hubbs, 1936

'Cichlasoma' alborum Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus alborum
Hubbs, 1936

'Cichlasoma' amarum Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus amarum Hubbs, 1936

'Cichlasoma' cienagae Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus cienagae Hubbs, 1936

'Cichlasoma' conchitae Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus conchitae
Hubbs, 1936

'Cichlasoma' ericymba Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus ericymba Hubbs, 1936

'Cichlasoma' mayorum Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus mayorum Hubbs, 1936

'Cichlasoma' stenozonum Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus stenozonum Hubbs, 1936

'Cichlasoma' troschelii (Steindachner, 1867)
Heros troschelii Steindachner, 1867

'Cichlasoma' urophthalmus (Günther, 1862)
Heros urophthalmus Günther, 1862
Cichlasoma urophthalmus trispilum Hubbs, 1935

'Cichlasoma' zebra Hubbs, 1936
Cichlasoma urophthalmus zebra Hubbs, 1936

Distinctive characters: 'C.' urophthalmus is a large cichlid with a unique body form and coloration among Central American cichlids. The distinctive characteristic of the group is a conspicuous "eye-spot" on caudal peduncle, the elaboration of which seems to vary across species. The species has 28-32 scales along the lateral line (Stawikowski & Werner, 1998).

Distribution: Atlantic slope from south México to Nicaragua. The type localities of the species included here range from the Rio Usumacinta drainage to the Lake Peten in Guatemala. Most of them, however are located on the Yucatan Peninsula in México.

Further information: Most species listed in this group were described as subspecies of Heros urophthalmus. Kullander listed all these subspecies as species and notes at the same time that the systematic status of most of these taxa is still unclear. Most species were described only on the basis of very few specimens and were never reported ever since the first description. This species complex thus warrents special attention.

The "Perpetual Conundrum"

Following species are listed as Insertae Sedis by Kullander (2003) and have not been assigned to grouping attempts:

Herichthys geddesi (likely not a valid species, but a synonym to H. deppei)

Heros octofasciatus Regan, 1903

Cichlasoma ramsdeni

Heros salvini Günther, 1862

Heros trimaculatus

Vieja ufermanni

References (8):

  • Ahl, Ernst. 1935. "Ueber eine Fischsammlung aus Mexiko". Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft naturforschender Freunde in Berlin. 107-112 (crc00315)
  • Günther, Albert C. L. G. 1862. "Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Acanthopterygii, Pharyngognathi and Anacanthini in the collection of the British Museum". Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum London. 4:i-xxi + 1-534 (crc00035)
  • Hubbs, Carl Leavitt. 1936. "XVII. Fishes of the Yucatan Peninsula". The Cenotes of Yucatán, a Zoological and Hydrographic Survey. (457)157-287 (crc00250)
  • Jordan, David Starr & J.O. Snyder. 1899. "Notes on a collection of fishes from the rivers of Mexico, with description of twenty new species". Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission. 19:115-147 (crc00041)
  • Jordan, David Starr. 1889. "List of fishes collected by Alphonse Forrer about Mazatlan, with descriptions of two new species - Heros beani and Poecilia butleri". Proceeding of the United States National Museum. 11(1888):329-334 (crc00330)
  • Regan, Charles Tate. 1905. "A revision of the fishes of the American cichlid genus Cichlosoma and of the allied genera". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. [Series 7]16:60-77:225-243:316-340:433-445 (crc00042)
  • Taylor, Jeffrey & Robert Rush Miller. 1980. "Two new cichlid fishes, genus Cichlasoma, from Chiapas, Mexico". Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan. (693):16 (crc00249)
  • Vaillant, Leon Louis & J. Pellegrin. 1902. "Cichlidés nouveaux de l'Amérique Centrale". Bulletin du Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle. 8:85-86 (crc00021)


Tobler, Michi. (Aug 11, 2005). "Groups proposed for the species currently listed Insertae Sedis". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Feb 24, 2024, from: