Heroina is a genus of the subfamily Cichlasomatinae, tribe Heroini.





Sven O Kullander


Heroina Kullander


Heroina Kullander, 1996. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters 7, p. 151 (type by original designation Heroina isonycterina Kullander). — Feminine.

Heroina isonycterina. Living adult male collected at Aguas Calientes, Colombia, photographed in aquarium. Photo © U. Werner
Heroina isonycterina. Living adult male collected at Aguas Calientes, Colombia, photographed in aquarium. Photo: U. Werner.


Heroine cichlids with 13-14 irregularly arranged scales along the predorsal midline; anteroventral wing of palatine narrow and not in direct contact with vomer; high number of anal fin spines, A. VII.10-11; scaly dorsal and anal fin bases; only unicuspid jaw teeth; lower lip fold continuous across symphysis; caudal peduncle short, containing the last halfcentrum, but no additional vertebral centra; caudal prolongation of the swimbladder not extending past the third haemal spine and not supported by ribs.

Distinguished from all other cichlids except Caquetaia Fowler, Parachromis Agassiz, and Petenia Günther, in having an ethmoethmoid ligament which inserts on the lateral ethmoid immediately posterior to the ethmopalatine articulation instead of a palatopalatine ligament inserted on the palatine; and in having the median palatovomerine ligament exposed in lateral view. It is similar to those genera in having caniniform jaw teeth, with the outer upper jaw symphysial pair elongated, the corresponding lower jaw teeth shortened, and the next lower jaw pair longer than the other lower jaw teeth, but differs above all in having the lower elongated teeth much less differentiated in size relative to other lower jaw teeth. It is distinguished from Caquetaia, Parachromis and Petenia especially in having shorter jaws, in particular the premaxillary ascending processes reaching only to the anterior third of the orbit, instead of to the middle of the orbit or well beyond the orbit, and the lower jaw not prognathous.

The colour pattern is distinctive in the complete absence of dark markings on the head, the subdivision of the third dark vertical bar into two, and the breeding colour pattern of females, consisting in intensification of the middle and ventral portions of the dark vertical bars.

Included species

Heroina isonycterina Kullander, 1996


Heroina is derived from the Greek heroine (in Latin heroine or heroina), a feminine noun meaning heroine. The name refers to the superficial similarity to Heros Heckel, the name of which is based on the masculine Greek noun for warrior or hero, heros (Latin heros).

Geographical distribution

Restricted to the western Amazon basin in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.


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.