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Genus Cryptoheros Allgayer ZBK

Cryptoheros Allgayer 2001 ZBK : 14 (original description).

Type species. Heros spilurus Guenther , 1862 ZBK , by original designation.

Diagnosis. Genus distinguished by one strict synapomorphy (fig. 3c in Schmitter-Soto, in press): one to five short, acute interdigitations in sutural connection between halves of lower pharyngeal jaw. Also characterized by a twisted median loop in adult gut (except in Cr. myrnae and Cr. sajica ), and peritoneum moderately pigmented dorsolaterally (also found in Archocentrus , Petenia ZBK , and Amatitlania kanna ).

Description. D. XVI-XIX,9-11; A. VII-X (VI in Cr. panamensis ),l-9. Gill rakers on lower limb of first arch 6-7, occasionally 5. Pored lateral-line scales 26-30; circumpeduncular scales 16-18, rarely 19 or 20. A genus of small cichlids, less than 130 mm SL. Body rather oval, deep, depth 42-56% of SL. Maxilla not reaching orbit, premaxillary dorsal process not reaching anterior rim of orbit (except in young). Frenum present in lower lip. Filamentous rays of dorsal and anal fins extending to mid-caudal fin or beyond. Origin of pelvic fin located behind a vertical from origin of dorsal fin. Caudal fin truncate or rounded. Scales usually strongly ctenoid (moderately ctenoid in Cr. sajica ). Up to two pored scales on caudal fin, as an extension of the lateral line. Gut simple, with variations (secondary loops) in some species; anal and anterior esophageal loops adjacent. Genital papilla usually tongue-shaped or rounded. No spots on cheek; vertical bar on head, absent or faint, as a darkening of opercle and nape; interorbital bands faint or absent. Seven vertical bars on sides, diffuse or well marked. Breast region often yellowish or olive. Caudal blotch usually two-thirds or more on peduncle, never ocellated.

Distribution. Panama to Mexico, mostly on Atlantic versant (Fig. 5).

FIGURE 5. Distribution of the species in the genus Cryptoheros ZBK . Closed squares, Cr. panamensis ; open squares, Cr. spilurus ; closed circles, Cr. chetumalensis ; open circles, Cr. cutteri ; closed triangles, Cr. septemfasciatus ; open triangles, Cr. altojlavus ZBK ; “x" sign, Cr. myrnae ; “+” sign, Cr. nanoluteus ; stars, Cr. sajica . A symbol may represent more than one collecting site.

Species composition. Nine species: Cr. spilurus , Cr. chetumalensis , Cr. cutteri , Cr. septemfasciatus , Cr. altoflavus ZBK , Cr. myrnae , Cr. nanoluteus , Cr. sajica , and Cr. panamensis . Three clades diagnosable, here described as subgenera, one of which is monotypic.

Remarks. The generic name was introduced by Allgayer (2001) for the “smaller Archocentrus ” species, i.e., those species included here in the subgenera Cryptoheros ZBK and Bussingius , and the genus Amatitlania , but excluding Cr. panamensis . Allgayer (2001) also united Archocentrus , Cryptoheros ZBK , and Herotilapia ZBK in a new subtribe, Archocentrina. However, this decision was not supported by cladistic analyses, and Allgayer did not consider conflicting evidence, such as that presented by Roe et al. (1997) (see below).


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