Original description as Cichlasoma (Theraps) hartwegi:
- 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. (n. 693), pp. 16 (crc00249)
Conservation: Vieja hartwegi is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (EN) endangered (2017). In recent years the upper Grijalva River has suffered the introduction of many exotic species, many of which are translocations from other areas of southern Mexico (Miller, 2005:360; Gonzáles-Días et al., 2008). It is yet to be seen the extend of the negative effect this will bring in V. hartwegi.