Central American cichlids renamed

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American scientists have renamed two popular cichlids, Neetroplus nematopus and Hypsophrys nicaraguensis.

In a paper published in the most recent issue of the journal Zootaxa, Prosanta Chakrabarty and John Sparks re-diagnosed the cichlid genus Hypsophrys and regarded Neetroplus as its junior synonym.

The changes see Neetroplus nematopus gaining the new name Hypsophrys nematopus and Hypsophrys nicaraguensis becoming H. unimaculatus, as H. nicaraguensis is believed to be a junior synonym.

Both Neetroplus and Hypsophrys were previously monotypic and held only N. nematopus and H. nicaraguensis. Now, the Hypsophrys genus contains two species, H. nematopus and H. unimaculatus.

H. unimaculatus is diagnosed by its centrally placed spot on its flank and caniniform teeth, and H. nematopus, with a dark bar or no marking on its flank and spatulate teeth.

Chakrabarty and Sparks distinguish Hypsophrys from other members of the Heroini in having a combination of a single supraneural, a strongly rounded snout profile, and a small and slightly subterminal mouth.

The authors also suggest that Cichlasoma spilotum, previously considered a junior synonym of H. unimaculatus, may be a valid species.

For more information, see the paper: Chakrabarty, P and JS Sparks (2007) Relationships of the New World cichlid genus Hypsophrys Agassiz, 1859 (Teleostei: Cichlidae), with diagnoses for the genus and its species. Zootaxa 1523, 59"64.