Michi Tobler, 2005
Cichlid Room Companion
Focus Central America

The generic assignment of 'Cichlasoma' salvini

By , 2007. image
Last updated on 20-Jan-2007

Classification: Taxonomy and phylogeny, North America.

'C.' salvini (described as Heros salvini Günther, 1862) is a very distinct looking fish occuring on the Atlantic slope from southern México to Guatemala and Belize. Only few ideas on the generic assignment of this species were so far published. Even molecular phylogenies revealed very contradictory results: Some of the 'C.' salvini samples come out as a basal lineage of the genus Thorichthys, some group with A. spilurus in very different branch of the phylogenetic tree (Hulsey, 2003). The paraphyly of 'C.' salvini could be due to problems in the methods (the sequences clustering with A. spilurus were gathered in a different lab).

Is 'C.' salvini a fierce, yellow Thorichthys? The result that 'C.' salvini may in fact be closely related (or even part of) to Thorichthys is supported by further information: Firstly, all species occur in the same biogeographical region. Secondly, 'C.' salvini shares consistent development of eight sensory pores (5 on the mandible) between the tip of the chin and the angle of the opercle with Thorichthys. Concheiro et al. (2007) conclude based on their molecular phylogeny that this species will be assigned to a new yet undescribed genus.

Breeding female

'Cichlasoma' salvini breeding female in the Rio Chacamax, Usumacinta; Chiapas, México. Photo by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas. Determiner Juan Miguel Artigas Azas.

References (3):

  • 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. 43(1):91-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.08.012 (crc01440) (abstract)
  • 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)
  • Hulsey, Darrin & F.J. Garcia de Leon, Y. Sanchez-Johnson, D.A. Hendrickson, T.J. Near. 2004. "Temporal Diversification of Mesoamerican Cichlid Fishes Across a Major Biogeographic Boundary". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. n:31:754-764 (crc01093) (abstract)


Tobler, Michi. (Jan 20, 2007). "The generic assignment of 'Cichlasoma' salvini". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on May 24, 2024, from: