Michi Tobler, 2005
Cichlid Room Companion
Focus Central America

Short synopsis of Archocentrus Gill, 1877

By , 2006. image
Last updated on 16-Mar-2006

Classification: Taxonomy and phylogeny, North America.

Type species: Heros centrarchus Gill, 1877

Distinctive characters: Gill (1877) introduced Archocentrus. Regan (1905) refered to this genus as "Section 5" and finally in 1994, it was Allgayer who raised Archocentrus to the genus level. Regan (1905) gave the following distinctive characteristics to the genus:

  • Body ovate
  • Scales of lateral line of the same size as those above and below it; scales of the thoracic region considerably smaller than those on the side of the body
  • Mouth rather small, moderately protractile
  • Maxillary not or slightly exposed
  • Theeth of the outer series distinctly enlarged anteriorly
  • Dorsal XVII-XIX/ 7-10, soft fin scaly ate the base
  • Anal VIII-XII/ 6-9
  • Pectoral extending beyond the origin off anal
  • Caudal rounded or subtruncate

Species currently included:

Archocentrus altoflavus C, S

Archocentrus centrarchus


Archocentrus myrnae

C, B(Mixed broods)

Archocentrus nanoluteus


Archocentrus nigrofasciatus


Archocentrus panamensis

C, A

Archocentrus sajica


Archocentrus septemfasciatus


Archocentrus spilurus

C, S(C. cutteri)

Archocentrus spinosissimus

A=Note on generic assignment, B=Note on behavior, C=CRC Catalogue, S=Note on systematic status

Distribution: From Guatemala and Belize south to Panama.

Behavior/Ecology: The species included in this genus inhabit riverine and lacustrine habitats. There are differences in the reproductive behavior among the species (e.g. presence of female courtship behavior).

Further information: Allgayer (2001) group Archocentrus together with Herotilapia and Cryptoheros (considered as synonym of Archocentrus by Kullander (2003) in the subtribus Archcentrina. Evidence from molecular phylogenies, however, indicate that the Archocentrina is not a natural group and of polyphyletic origin In the same publication Allgayer notes that Archocentrus sensu Regan (1905) is polyphyletic. He therefore described the genus Cryptoheros (type species: Heros spilurus Günther, 1862; see also Archcentrus vs. Cryptoheros ), leaving only A. centrarchus and A. spinosissimus in Archocentrus.

Although the name Cryptoheros was quickly picked up and used by hobbyists, the acceptance of Allgayer's view of the phylogenetic relationship among the Archocentrus species was much lower. Although data (e.g. from molecular phylogenies) supports the idea that Archocentrus sensu Regan (1905) is polyphyletic, the classification of Allgayer seems not to reflect the phylogenetic relationships of the species included. On the basis of ICZN's claim for stability in nomenclature, Regan's (1905) classification is used. However, pending a closer analysis further changes in the generic assignment can be expected in the future.

Miller (2005) also assigns 'C.' octofaciatum" to this genus

References (4):


Tobler, Michi. (Mar 16, 2006). "Short synopsis of Archocentrus Gill, 1877". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Feb 24, 2024, from: