Type species: Tomocichla underwoodi Regan, 1908
Distinctive characters: When Regan described Tomocichla, he just noted that it differs from Herichthys that the pelvic fins originate clearly behind the pectorals. Futher characteristics of Tomocichla include (Bussing, 1976; Stawikowski et al., 1998): elongated, laterally compressed body; slightly subterminal mouth; small (30-34) scales along the lateral line; 4-5 rows of scales on the cheeks; low anal fin spine counts (4-5); compressed jaw teeth; dark pigmentation dorsally, abruptly white below, purple coloration on lateral scales and dark stripes across the snout.
Species currently included:
|Tomocichla asfraci||C, A(Aquarium)|
|C=CRC Catalogue, A=Article|
Distribution: Atlantic and pacific versant of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and western Panama.
Behavior/ Ecology: Tomocichla species usually inhabit water with swift current.
Further information: There has been a lot of confusion regarding the correct names of the species in the genus. The main reason for the confusion was that Regan gave the same name to two different species both assigned to Tomocichla: In 1906 he named a cichlid from "Costa Rica" Herichthys underwoodi (now known as T. sieboldii (Kner, 1863) and only two years later in 1908 he named another cichlid from the Rio Iroquois (also Costa Rica) Tomocichla underwoodi (now known as T. tuba (Meek, 1912)). For a complete overview on this topic please refer to Bussing (1975) and a discussion in the Cichlid-L Archive (Part 1, Part2).
Bussing (1975) hypothesized that T. tuba and T. sieboldii derived from a common ancestor during the Pliocene. New data from molecular phylogenies indicate that T. sieboldii and T. tuba are not closely related (e.g. Martin et al., 1998). This view is also supported by the different characteristics of the fry and juveniles (Heijns, personal communication). Kullander (2003) maintains T. sieboldii in Tomocichla pending a more general revision of heroin cichlids. Further data from molecular phylogenies indicate that there might be more than one species behind what we call T. sieboldii today (Concheiro Perez, personal communication), a southern form from Panama (T. sieboldii s.s.) and a northern form from Costa Rica (T. punctatum or T. frontale, both names were introduced by Meek, 1909). So far, very little is known about the geographic variation of T. sieboldii that could support such a view. The same data also indicate that T. sieboldii might be closely related to Vieja tuyrensis, a species from the same biogeographical area. In fact, Concheiro et al. (2007) suggested to include the two species into a new genus.
- Bussing, William. 1976. "Geographic Distribution of the San Juan Ichthyofauna of Central America with Remarks on its Origin and Ecology". INVESTIGATIONS OF THE ICHTHYOFAUNA OF NICARAGUAN LAKES, ed. Thomas B. Thorson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. pp. 157-175 (crc04837) (abstract)
- Bussing, William. 1975. "Taxonomy and biological aspects of the Central American cichlid fishes Cichlasoma sieboldii and C. tuba". Revista de Biologia Tropical. v. 23(n. 2), pp. 189-211 (crc06510) (abstract)
- Concheiro Pérez, Gustavo A & Oldrich Rican, Guillermo Ortíz, Eldredge Bermingham, Ignacio Doadrio, Rafael Zardoya. 2007. "Phylogeny and biogeography of 91 species of heroine cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae) based on sequences of the cytochrome b gene". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. v.43(1), pp. 91-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.08.012 (crc01440) (abstract)
- Kner, Rudolf & F. Steindachner. 1863. "Eine Uebersicht der ichthyologischen Ausbeute des Herrn Professors Dr. Mor. Wagner in Central-Amerika". Sitzungsberichte der Königlichen Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, München. Vol. 2: pp. 220-230 (crc00036)
- Kullander, Sven. 2003. "Family Cichlidae (Cichlids)". Check list of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America. pp. 605-654 (crc01092)
- Martin, A. P & E. Bermingham. 1998. "Systematics and Evolution of Lower Central American Cichlids Inferred from Analysis of Cytochrome b Gene Sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. n. 9; pp. 192-203 (crc01094)
- Meek, Seth Eugene. 1914. "An annotated list of fishes known to occur in the fresh waters of Costa Rica". Field Museum of Natural History, Publications, Zoölogical Series. v. 10(n. 10), pp. 101-134 (crc05728)
- Stawikowski, Rainer & U. Werner. 1998. "Die Buntbarsche Amerikas, Band1". Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart. 540 pp (crc01090)
© Copyright 2007 Michi Tobler, all rights reserved
Tobler, Michi. (January 20, 2007). "Short synopsis of Tomocichla Regan, 1908". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on March 06, 2021, from: https://cichlidae.com/section.php?id=39.