Sven O Kullander


Cichlasomatinae: Heroini


Kullander (1983) diagnosed a cichlasomine assemblage of Neotropical cichlids for species usually assigned to the genera Aequidens or Cichlasoma and having four instead of five dentary lateralis foramina. The reduced number of dentary lateralis openings also characterises Acaronia, crenicarines (with serrated preopercle), and some species of geophagines (Apistogramma species). Kullander (1983) excluded Acaronia from the cichlasomines, but the genus was included by Stiassny (1991). Both Kullander (1983) and Stiassny (1991) distinguished two subgroups which were then dealt with in more detail and named cichlasomines and heroines, respectively, by Kullander (1996), and eventually were recognized as tribes Cichlasomatini and Heroini of the subfamily Cichlasomatinae (Kullander, 1998).

Heroines can be distinguished by three derived characters: more than four anal fin spines and more than 15 anal rays total; anteroventral lamina of palatine not articulating with the vomerine shaft, and posteriorly displaced relative to the head of the vomer; a lingual cusp on anterior oral teeth (or any derivative involving more cusps or more teeth). The dental character is not present in all members and may rather diagnose a subgroup.

The heroine group comprises about 100 Central American and about 40 South American species.


KULLANDER, S.O. 1983. A revision of the South American cichlid genus Cichlasoma. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm.
KULLANDER, S.O. 1996. Heroina isonycterina, a new genus and species of cichlid fish from Western Amazonia, with comments on cichlasomine systematics. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, 7: 149-172.
STIASSNY, M.L.J. 1991. Phylogenetic intrarelationships of the family Cichlidae: an overview. In KEENLEYSIDE, M.H.A. (ed.), Cichlid fishes. Behaviour, ecology and evolution, pp. 1-35.