Comprehensive Description

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Amatitlania , new genus

Heros ZBK , Günther 1867: 601 (part.).

Cichlasoma ZBK , Jordan & Evermann 1898: 1525 (part.).

Archocentrus , Allgayer 1994: 15 (part.).

Cryptoheros ZBK , Allgayer 2001: 15 (part.).

Type species. Heros nigrofasciatus Guenther , 1867 ZBK , by original designation.

Diagnosis. Three strict synapomorphies (Schmitter-Soto, in press): first bar on side of body, Y-shaped, wellmarked, caudal arm discontinuous; bars from sides of body extending fully to the edge of dorsal and anal fins; medial intensifications on 2nd and 3rd bars, sometimes also on 1st. Differs from most other heroine genera also as follows: mouth terminal (also in Cryptoheros ZBK and Ar. multispinosus ); spots on opercle part of vertical bar on head (also in Caquetaia ZBK and H. nematopus ), which extends fully across opercle (also in Rocio and Archocentrus ); three procurrent rays on caudal fin (also in most Cryptoheros ZBK , Petenia ZBK , and Tomocichla ZBK ); dentary symphysial teeth lower than adjacent teeth (also in Rocio , Cr. panamensis , and Petenia ZBK -not so abruptly lower as in Parachromis ); premaxillary symphysial teeth abruptly larger than adjacent teeth (also in Rocio , Parachromis , Cr. myrnae , and Caquetaia ZBK ); ascending premaxillary arm reaching only to anterior orbit rim (also in Rocio ); maxilla dorsally serrated (also in Cryptoheros ZBK and Tomocichla ZBK ).

Description. D. XVII -XIX,7-10 (up to 11 in Am. kanna ); A. VIII -X (to XI in Am. siquia and Am. kanna ),6-8 (to 9 in Am. siquia ); first dorsal fin ray divided. Gill rakers on lower limb of first arch 5-8, total gill rakers 7-11; gill rakers trapezoidal or bifid, with a basal process. Scales strongly ctenoid. Scale rows on cheek 4-6; pored lateral-line scales (not counting scales overlapping between the two segments of the lateral line) 25-29; scales from lateral line to first dorsal fin spine 4-5.5, rarely 3.5; scales between vent and interpelvic scale 6-12. Lower jaw external teeth 22-24. Anal creases modally 14.

Maximum size, less than 100 mm SL. Body rather oval, depth 43-58% of SL. Maxilla reaching only to ventral rim of orbit, not to a vertical from anteriormost rim (except in some specimens of Am. nigrofasciata ); premaxillary dorsal process extending only to anterior rim of orbit; mouth terminal or lower jaw protruding slightly; frenum present in lower lip; teeth moderately embedded, occasionally with a small lingual cusp, lower symphysial teeth lower than adjacent teeth; pectoral and pelvic always reaching anal-fin origin and usually to 7th anal-fin spine; in Am. kanna and Am. siquia , pelvic fins may extend caudad to 10th anal-fin spine. Origin of pelvic fin behind origin of dorsal fin. Caudal fin rounded-truncate. Interradial scale-rows in dorsal and anal fins, up to 7-8 scales long (to 11 in Am. kanna ). In gut, anal loop and rostral esophageal loop adjacent. Genital papilla oval, in females opening oval, not much crenulated. Seven bars on sides, first bar clearly Y-shaped, medial intensifications on 2nd and 3rd bars, and sometimes also on 1st bar; no speckles on cheek; no interorbital bars, or diffuse; a sharp vertical bar on head, across all of opercle and nape, coalescent with opercular spots; no longitudinal stripe on body; no abdominal black blotch on females; caudal blotch entirely or mostly on fin (sometimes obsolescent), across lateral line, not ocellated.

Distribution. From Panama (Atlantic) to Guatemala (Atlantic and Pacific) (Fig. 17).

Species composition. Four species: Am. nigrofasciata , Am. coatepeque , Am. kanna , Am. siquia .

Etymology. Gender feminine, derived from the type locality of the type species; “ Amatitlán ” means “a place abundant in amate” in Nahuatl, “amate” being a kind of rustic paper made from the bark of Ficus petiolaris or F. indica ( León-Portilla 1959).

Remarks. Regan (1908) suspected a relationship between Amatitlania and Rocio . The genus does show putative synapomorphies with Rocio and Cryptoheros ZBK , but the cladistic analysis (Schmitter-Soto, in press) did not find substantial support for such a clade.


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