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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits lower to middle river valleys as well as lakes. Found over rocks, sand, silt or mud. Feeds on benthic detritus, aquatic plants and invertebrates (Ref. 7335). Reported size in captivity to about 25 cm for males and 18 cm for females (Paul Stevens, pers. comm.).
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Distribution

Range Description

This restricted species is found in Mexico; in the basin of upper Rio Grijalva (Rio Grande de Chiapas), Chiapas. This river is severely fragmented because of damming.
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Grijalva River, Atlantic Slope of Mexico.
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Central America: Atlantic slope, in the Grijalva River basin, Mexico.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 250 mm SL
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Max. size

13.1 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 36377))
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Type Information

Paratype for Cichlasoma hartwegi Taylor & Miller
Catalog Number: USNM 219904
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): R. Miller & W. Sable
Year Collected: 1965
Locality: Mexico: Rio Grande De Chiapa, 1/2 mi. Above Bridge From Tuxtla Gutierrez To Chiapa De Corzo, Chiapas., Chiapas, Mexico, North America
  • Paratype: Taylor, J. N. & Miller, R. R. 1980. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan. No. 693: 8.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
V. hartwegi is a benthopelagic species that inhabits flowing streams and rivers as well as lakes, over rocks, sand, silt or mud. Vegetation is usually sparse, or absent. Young and juveniles congregate in backwaters (Miller 2005).

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater; pH range: 7.5; dH range: 33
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabits lower to middle river valleys as well as lakes. Found over rocks, sand, silt or mud. Feeds on benthic detritus, aquatic plants and invertebrates.
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Diseases and Parasites

Goezia Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Diplostomum Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Crassicutis Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2ce; B1ab(ii,iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Snoeks, J., Laleye, P. & Contreras-MacBeath, T.

Reviewer/s
Collen, B., Darwall, W., Ram, M. & Smith, K. (SRLI Freshwater Fish Evaluation Workshop)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has been assessed as Vulnerable. It is declining at a rate likely not more than 50% (as occupied areas probably not reduced by half) but more than 30% due to reduction in range and habitat quality, as well as the effects of introduced fish. Its distribution covers an area less than 20,000 km² which is severely fragmented, and still in decline.
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Population

Population
Was previously a common species.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
A series of dams have been built within the distribution of this species in the last 10 years. Apart from the dramatic habitat alteration caused by this (replacing rivers - the habitat of this species - with lakes, that are unsuitable for this species) and the resultant severe fragmentation of populations, it has drawn humans to the area and also increased pollution into the river system. Tilapia has also been present in the lakes since the 1970s or maybe early 1980s (though it does not do as well in the small rivers, where this species may more frequently be found).
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Vulnerable (VU) (A2ce; B1ab(ii,iii))
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
SEDESO (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social) listed the species as rare (Miller 2005).
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