Changes in the Scientific classification of the Common Convict


Recently Juan Miguel Artigas Azas, a well known person in the Cichlid hobby, wrote an article about the common Convict Cichlid for Cichlid News magazine. One of the things he included in this article was the synonymy of nigrofasciata and siquia. (i.e., identifying them as the same species.) The species coatepeque was synonymized in 2014, despite their geographical isolation. So the several times I have referenced siquia in this forum apparently were meaningless, as it is just more populations of nigrofasciata. I have not read the article, but changes at suggest that he has included the Honduran Red Point in this species, as well. So a lot of fish that were being considered hybrids are actually just crossing of different populations of nigrofasciata. There is one more species of "Convict", the Panamanian A. kanna. I doubt that it will remain separate for long.

There is no question that many of these populations have very distinct color patterns, but color is not how species are identified scientifically, though they are often given in description papers. The fact is that they have always interbred readily, their care and behavior is identical, and their distribution in the wild was overlapping.

So any old posts that talk about siquia or HRP can be taken as just well colored populations of nigrofasciata. Science changes, but the fish don't care; they can't read, even if they live in schools!


That's pretty cool. It's always crazy for me me to think about how much we're still learning.

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