Cryptoheros panamensis (Meek & Hildebrand, 1913) , Juan J. Schmitter-Soto, 2007

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: 33-34

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Cryptoheros panamensis (Meek & Hildebrand, 1913)

n. comb.

Cryptoheros panamensis (Meek & Hildebrand, 1913)  , n. comb.

Figures 5-6

Neetroplus panamensis Meek & Hildebrand  ZBK  , 1913: 90 (original description).

Cichlasoma panamense  , Conkel 1993 ( new combination).

Theraps panamense  , Eschmeyer 2001 ( new combination).

Archocentrus panamensis  , Kullander 2003: 617 ( new combination).

Holotype. FMNH 7601, 79 mm SL, S. E. Meek and S. F.Hildebrand, Feb. 2, 1911. Rio “Mandingo” [Mandinga] at “Bas Obispo” , Canal Zone, Panama. 

Paratypes. FMNH 8105-8112 (20), from several localities . 

Diagnosis. Autapomorphy (Schmitter-Soto, in press): teeth truncate and labiolingually compressed, incisor-like, but tips rounded (pointed in juveniles), their biting edges not forming a line. Further distinguished from other species in the genus by having modally three rows of scale rows on cheek (vs. four or more); presence of single spot at posteroventral angle of opercle (vs. opercular spots absent, or single spot present but not located at angle in other species except Cr. altoflavus  ZBK  ); a medial intensification only of 4th lateral bar on side of body (vs. either only on 3rd bar or none at all); dorsal edge of the articular bone straight (vs. convex); first neural spine retrorsely directed (vs. antrorse in all other Cryptoheros  ZBK  , except Cr. spilurus  and Cr. cutteri  ), and two dorsal elements between first two epineural spines (vs. three). Cr. panamensis  is the only member of its genus in which the paired fins seldom or never extend posteriorly to the first anal-fin spine, and also the only one with six anal-fin spines (vs. seven or more) and as few as 16 dorsal-fin spines (vs. always 17 or more). Sum of dorsal- and anal-fin spines 23 (vs. 24 or more).

Description. D. XVI-XVIII,9-10; A. VI,7-8. Gill rakers on lower limb of first arch 6-7; gill rakers trapezoidal, serrated, no basal process. Scale rows on cheek 2-4; predorsal scales 9-12; pored lateral-line scales (not counting scales overlapping between the two segments of the lateral line) 25-29; scales between lateral line and origin of dorsal fin 3.5-4.5; scales from lateral line to base of first dorsal-fin ray 1.5-2.5; circumpeduncular scales 14-16 (further meristic data appear in Table 3).

Maximum size 130 mm SL (Conkel 1993), although largest examined specimen during this study only 79 mm SL. Body relatively deep (45-51% of SL). Head profile convex to straight. Head length 30-34% of SL; orbital diameter 27-32% of head length (further morphometric data appear in Table 4). Teeth not embedded; the only incisor teeth are those near symphyses, which are rounded, its edges not forming a line; other teeth are conical (in young, even symphysial teeth conical). Upper and lower symphysial teeth lower than adjacent teeth in adults. Lower jaw slightly receding (contra Stawikowski & Werner 1998, who considered it terminal). Upper lip medially narrowed; lower lip square, not rounded at corner, its lower angle acute.

Pectoral fins not extending caudad to 1st anal-fin spine; pelvic fins sometimes reaching 3rd anal-fin spine. Filamentous rays of dorsal fin reaching posteriorly to distal third of caudal fin. Scales strongly ctenoid. Two lateral-line pored scales on caudal fin, subsidiary pores few and sporadic; scales between dorsal and anal fin rays in one row, up to 4 scales long.

Genital papilla tongue-shaped, rounded, longer than broad, sunken; some melanophores on basal margins.

No interorbital bands; no suborbital streak; a faint stripe from snout to eye; only one opercular spot, associated to the medial intensification of the 1st bar. Eyes greyish, reddish. No longitudinal stripe. Bars on sides diffuse, 1st bar not divided, somewhat curved on head; 1st, 4th and posterior ones more intense medially, as series of blotches. No bars on dorsal and anal fins, but an ocellus present on dorsal fin of mature females, between spines X or XII to XVI or XVIII Dots on soft dorsal and anal fins in 4-6 undulated rows, concentric on base of third or fourth ray. About 11 rows of light spots on sides, smaller than scales; breast region oliveyellowish. Axil of pectoral fin dark, sometimes with a spot. Base of pectoral fin either whitish or same coloration as breast. Caudal blotch on both caudal fin and peduncle, two-thirds above lateral line.

Distribution. Atlantic drainages of Panama; Lake Gatún, rivers Mandinga, Chagres, Ipetí and others, including areas formerly within the Canal Zone (Fig. 5).

Remarks. The list of objective synonyms underscores the obscurity in phylogenetic position of this species. It appears clear, nevertheless, that its resemblance to Neetroplus  ZBK  (= Hypsophrys  ZBK  ) nematopus  is a convergence (Rogers 1981, Schmitter-Soto, in press). The affinity with Cryptoheros  ZBK  was earlier recognized by Kullander (2003), who considered it a species of Archocentrus  . This relationship was overlooked by all previous workers, perhaps because of the low anal-fin spine count of Cr. panamensis  , which is atypical for Archocentrus  and related taxa (Table 3) and is approached only by Cr. sajica  .