I have recently come across a publication (in press) by Gustavo Concheiro and others to be published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. the title is: "Phylogeny and biogeography of 91 species of heroine cichlids (Teleostei, Cichlidae) based on sequences of the Cytochrome b gene". this article will cause quite a stirr-up in the way we have looked upon these interesting cichlids so far. according to the authors the publication will be followed by taxonomic work, leading to many new (generic) names for our fish.
at this point it is important to note that the analysis is based on one mitochondrial gene. some might say that this is a very small basis on which to draw such far reaching conclusions.
in the following illustrations I have tried to summarize the cladograms from the article, adding to them my understanding of generic assignments (in yellow) and a list of species Concheiro et al did not include in their study (in blue).
here's the picture for the Heroini:
I agree with the authors to prefer the use of the generic name 'Heros' (single quotes) for species without any better generic placement over the continued use of 'Cichlasoma'. this clearly states that the species in question are part of the Heroini.
octofasciatus is nowhere near any genus used in the past i.e. Archocentrus.
and here's the amphilophines named by Concheiro
the name of this group is not very well chosen considering that Amphilophus labiatus (type species of Amphilophus) is not at the base of the group, nor are the species of Amphilophus dominant (at least not in number).
squeezing sajica between loisellei and dovii/managuensis doesn't appear to me as very realistic. the same can be said for centrarchus.
if myrnae is more closely related to a population of nigrofasciatus than that population is to another nigrofasciatus population that myrnae should be included in nigrofasciatus or one of the nigrofasciatus population is in need for a new name. both alternatives seem strange to me although I haven't seen any pictures (I do like to look at morphology
istlanus and wesseli being sister species is a challenging thought. but what about grammodes?
and the herichthyines:
(too) many species are missing. enigmatic species like bocourti and pearsei would have been indispensable here.
relationships within Thorichthys are unclear. what if maculipinnis is to include a population of aureus?
the type species of Theraps is not included in the study. using the generic name Theraps in the taxonomic work to follow is going to be very problematic. the placement of the species now assigned to Paraneetroplus is also of main interest.
cyanoguttatus is the type species of Herichthys. same problem as with Theraps.
any comments, questions or additions will be very much appreciated.