Cryptoheros sajica (Bussing, 1974)

Juan J. Schmitter-Soto, 2007, A systematic revision of the genus Archocentrus (Perciformes: Cichlidae), with the description of two new genera and six new species., Zootaxa 1603, pp. 1-78: 47-48

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Cryptoheros sajica (Bussing, 1974)


Cryptoheros sajica (Bussing, 1974) 

Figures 5, 16

Cichlasoma sajica Bussing, 1974  ZBK  : 30 (original description).

Archocentrus sajica  , Allgayer 1994: 15 ( new combination).

Cryptoheros sajica  , Allgayer 2001: 16 ( new combination).

Holotype. LACM 33902-1, 71 mm SL (Fig. 16), W. A. Bussing. A tributary of Rio Sierpe, 2 km S of Palmar Sur , Pacific Costa Rica. 

Paratypes. AMNH 58117 (3), LACM 2760 (1), 2928 (3), 4830 (61), 4853 (5), 33903-1-05-1 (50); UCR 69-7 (353), 111-19 (89), 112-16 (60), 114-12 (25), 163-3 (4), 164-7 (57), 165-3 (8), 166-3 (30), 172-3 (3), 173-6 (22), 175-3 (2), 179-1 (4), 250-3 (29), 251-7 (3), 300-5 (17), 309-1 (10), 311-4 (53), 380-8 (1), 393-11 (5), 757-6 (2); USNM 194247 (5), 211617-19 (50). 

Diagnosis. No unique autapomorphies, but the only Bussingius  with at least the third (main) lateral bar uniformly wide (its width not uniform in other species); usually no caudal blotch, no lateral spot or medial intensification of bars on side of body, no ocellus on dorsal fin, no abdominal blackening in mature females; palatine arms subequal (vs. anterior longer); posteriad projection on ventroposterior angle of retroarticular absent (vs. present); articular with a right angle ventrally (vs. obtuse); an anteriorly directed pronounced convexity on ventral process of articular present (vs. absent); anal-fin spines modally 7 (vs. 8-9).

Description. D. XVII-XVIII,9-10; A. VI-VIII,7-8. Gill rakers on lower limb of first arch 6; larger gill rakers bifid or at least distally expanded, trapezoidal, some digitiform. Scales moderately ctenoid. Predorsal scales modally 14; pored lateral-line scales (not counting scales overlapping between the two segments of the lateral line) 27-28; scales from lateral line to base of first dorsal-fin ray 2 or fewer; circumpeduncular scales 16-18 (additional meristic data appear in Table 3).

Largest specimen examined 53 mm SL (maximum size 90 mm SL: Kullander 2003). Body depth 46-49% of SL; head length, 34-37% of SL; orbital diameter 28-31% of head length (further morphometric data appear in Table 4). Head profile nearly straight to convex. Teeth not embedded; conical, labiolingually compressed. Upper symphysial teeth not abruptly larger than adjacent teeth, but not subequal either; lower symphysial teeth subequal to adjacent teeth. Upper lip normal or medially narrow; lower lip square squarish at corner, often tapering.

Pectoral fins always reaching caudad beyond 2nd, pelvic fins beyond 3rd anal-fin spine. Filamentous rays of dorsal fin to mid-caudal fin or beyond. Up to two lateral-line pored scales on caudal fin, subsidiary scales usually present. Dorsal-fin interradial scale rows, not imbricated (i.e. with no supplementary scales), up to 5 or 6 scales long.

Gut simple. Genital papilla tongue-shaped, oval, sunk; sometimes twice as long as broad; pigmented on margins and tip.

No definite vertical bar on head; no interorbital bands; suborbital streak present; no stripe from snout to eye; no opercular spot. Eyes blue with a golden rim (more noticeable in life). No longitudinal stripe. First bar on side of body, rather V-shaped, but diffuse; 3rd bar best defined and uniformly wide; 3rd and 6th bars extend onto dorsal fin, but there is no dorsal (female) spot. Hints of 2-3 spot rows on soft dorsal. About 11 rows of spots on sides, smaller than scales and located on the scale rim; breast beige. Axil of pectoral fin with a dark dorsal spot; base of pectoral fin paler than breast. Caudal blotch tenuous or absent, rather a dark region on base of fin, not on peduncle.

Distribution. Río Parrita to Río Coloradito, Pacific versant of Costa Rica (Fig. 5).

Remarks. Without a cladistic analysis, Bussing (1974) hypothesized the species to be the Pacific sistergroup of the Atlantic Cr. septemfasciatus  ; my analysis could not support this assertion. However, several character states of Cr. sajica  are plesiomorphic (Schmitter-Soto, in press), which suggests that the species could be basal in Bussingius  . The rest of the species in the subgenus are distributed in the Atlantic versant.