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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versão On-line ISSN 2007-8706versão impressa ISSN 1870-3453

Rev. Mex. Biodiv. vol.84 no.4 México Dez. 2013 

Nota científica


First record of Heterandria anzuetoi (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae) in El Salvador


Primer registro de Heterandria anzuetoi (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae) en El Salvador


Francisco S. Álvarez*, Henia M. Recinos and Wendy Y. Henríquez


Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Matemática, Escuela de Biología, Universidad de El Salvador. Final 25 Avenida Norte, Ciudad Universitaria, San Salvador, El Salvador. *


Recibido: 20 abril 2012
Aceptado: 08 febrero 2013



We present the first records of Heterandria anzuetoi (Rosen and Bailey, 1979) in El Salvador. Specimens were collected in the upper and middle reaches of the Lempa River. These reports represent distributional range extensions for the species in Central America.

Key words: freshwater fish, Central America, Pacific slope, Lempa River, Poeciliidae.



Presentamos los primeros registros de Heterandria anzuetoi (Rosen y Bailey, 1979) en El Salvador. Los ejemplares fueron recolectados en la cuenca alta y media del río Lempa. Estos registros representan ampliaciones de la distribución dentro de Centroamérica.

Palabras clave: peces de agua dulce, Centroamérica, vertiente del Pacifico, río Lempa, Poeciliidae.


Heterandria anzuetoi Rosen and Bailey, 1979 is native to Central America and is reported from rivers with low flow and small streams with clear water and rocky substrate (Rosen, 1979). The known distribution of this species includes rivers of the Atlantic slope of Guatemala (Kihn-Pineda et al., 2006), Honduras (Matamoros et al., 2009; Matamoros et al., 2011), and southeast Nicaragua (Rosen, 1979).

On the Pacific slope of Central America, H. anzuetoi has been reported in the Lempa River in Guatemala (Rosen, 1979; Lucinda, 2003) and Honduras (Matamoros et al., 2009; Matamoros et al., 2011). Despite H. anzuetoi being reported in the Lempa River, this species has never been reported in El Salvador (e.g. Hildebrand, 1925). The purpose of this note is to document the occurrence of H. anzuetoi in Salvadorean waters for the first time.

Sampling took place in June and September of 2011 in the Lempa River basin of El Salvador. The fish were captured with seines, cast nets, and electrofishing in various localities of the upper, middle, and lower reaches, including the main channel as well as tributaries and streams. The specimens were captured and fixed in 10% formalin in the field, washed in distilled water for 24 hours, and placed in 70% ethanol for permanent storage. The samples were identified following the key by Rosen (1979). The specimens were deposited in the Ichthyology collection of the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science (LSUMZ) and the Natural History Museum of El Salvador MHNES (Museo de Historia Natural of El Salvador; MHNES).

On 9 June 2011, we collected H. anzuetoi in Paso Hondo River (LSUMZ 15119) for the first time within the Natural Area Cinquera in the Department of Cabanas. The second field collections took place from 3-19 September 2011. We collected a total of 73 individuals within the rivers El Salitre (MHNES40-547), El Llano (MHNES 40578; MHNES40-581), La Conquista (MHNES40-582), Tamulasco (MHNES40-586), Goancora (MHNES40-590), Paso Hondo (MHNES40-595), and Los Limones (MHNES40-613) (Fig. 1). All individuals were sampled in small streams and tributaries from the Lempa River that were shallow in depth, had clear waters with low turbidity, and rocky substrate.

Heterandria anzuetoi (Fig. 2) is a robust species that can be distinguished in the female by a dorsal fin origin anterior to the origin of the anal fin, scales that form a dark crosslinked network that intensifies towards the caudal peduncle, and with a noticeable dark pigment at the end of the peduncle; males have a different terminal segment in gonopodium rays formed by 4a in the shape of a sickle, followed by small short segments (Rosen, 1979).

Previous studies report the distribution of H. anzuetoi within the Lempa River in Guatemala and Honduras (e.g. Rosen, 1979; Matamoros et al., 2009). However, this species had never been sampled in El Salvador. This note reports the first sampling of H. anzuetoi in Salvadorean waters, expanding the species distributional range into El Salvador. This increases the number of freshwater species reported in El Salvador and contributes to the understanding of distributional patterns within Central America. To date, there are no populations of H. anzuetoi reported in the lower basin of the Lempa River, where this species distribution may be restricted by the damming of the river in 4 locations within El Salvador.

The authors would like to thank collaborators Néstor Herrera and Enrique Barraza from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources for their help in the field and processing of permits for El Salvador. We thank Caleb McMahan and Wilfredo Matamoros (LSUMZ) for logistics in the first sampling event and the Central American Commission of the Environment and Development for financing and logistics of the second sampling event. Finally we thank Margarita Salazar and Dimas López from CCAD for their logistical support in the entire process of this study.


Literature cited

Hildebrand, S. F. 1925. Fishes of the Republic of El Salvador, Central America. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries 41:237-287.         [ Links ]

Kihn-Pineda, P. H., E. B. Cano and A. Morales. 2006. Peces de las aguas interiores de Guatemala. In Biodiversidad de Guatemala, E. B. Cano (ed.). Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala. p. 457-486.         [ Links ]

Lucinda, P. H. 2003. Family Poeciliidae. In Check list of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America, R. E. Reis, S. O. Kullander and C. J. Ferraris (eds.). EDIPUCRS, Porto Alegre. p. 555-580.         [ Links ]

Matamoros, W. A., B. Kreiser and J. Schaefer. 2011. A delineation of Nuclear Middle America biogeographical provinces based on river basin faunistic similarities. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 18:4.         [ Links ]

Matamoros, W. A., J. Schaefer and B. Kreiser. 2009. Annotated checklist of the freshwater fishes of continental and insular Honduras. Zootaxa 2307:1-38.         [ Links ]

Rosen, D. E. 1979. Fishes from uplands and intermontane basins of Guatemala: revisionary studies and comparative geography. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 162:267-376.         [ Links ]

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