Astyanax (fish)

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Astyanax mexicanus.JPG
Normal Mexican tetra, below, and blind cave fish, above, Astyanax mexicanus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Subclass: Neopterygii
Infraclass: Teleostei
Superorder: Ostariophysi
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Astyanax
S. F. Baird & Girard, 1854
Type species
Astyanax argentatus
S. F. Baird & Girard, 1854

See text

  • Anoptichthys C. L. Hubbs & Innes, 1936
  • Bertoniolus Fowler, 1918
  • Carlastyanax Géry, 1972
  • Evenichthys Whitley, 1935
  • Poecilurichthys T. N. Gill, 1858
  • Psalidodon C. H. Eigenmann, 1911
  • Zygogaster C. H. Eigenmann, 1913

Astyanax is a genus of freshwater fish in the family Characidae of the order Characiformes. Some of these fish, like many of their relatives, are kept as aquarium pets and known collectively as tetras. With around 130 described species and new ones being described every few months, this genus is among the largest of the entire order; Hyphessobrycon also has more than 100 species, and which one is larger at any one time depends on whether more species have been recently described in one or the other.[1]

The blind cave fish, a form of A. mexicanus, is a famous member of this genus. A. jordani, a different but closely related blind fish, was formerly considered to form its own genus, Anoptichthys.

The type species is A. mexicanus, the Mexican tetra. The generic name comes from Astyanax, a character in Greek mythology, who was the son of Hector of Troy; in homage to this, several specific epithets also refer to the Iliad.[2]

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

This genus is more or less defined as in 1917 by Carl H. Eigenmann. The lack of comprehensive phylogenetic analyses dealing with this genus is hindering a thorough review, and the relationships remain as indeterminate as the monophyly is doubtful.[3] Although included in Astyanax by FishBase, phylogenetic evidence supports moving A. aurocaudatus back to the monotypic genus Carlastyanax.[4]


The 145 currently recognized species in this genus are:


  1. ^ de Lucena (2003), Nelson (2006)
  2. ^ FishBase (2006)
  3. ^ de Lucena (2003)
  4. ^ Mirande; Jerep; and Vanegas-Ríos (2013). Phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic Carlastyanax aurocaudatus (Eigenmann) with remarks on the phylogeny of the Stevardiinae (Teleostei: Characidae). Neotrop. ichthyol. 11(4).
  5. ^ a b c d e Garavello; Sampaio (2010). "Five new species of genus Astyanax Baird & Girard, 1854 from Rio Iguaçu, Paraná, Brazil (Ostariophysi, Characiformes, Characidae)" (PDF). Brazilian Journal of Biology 70 (3): 847–865. doi:10.1590/s1519-69842010000400016. 
  6. ^ a b c Lucena, C.A.S.d., Castro, J.B. & Bertaco, V.A. (2013): Three new species of Astyanax from drainages of southern Brazil (Characiformes: Characidae). Neotropical Ichthyology, 11 (3): 537-552.
  7. ^ Bertaco, V.A. (2014): Astyanax douradilho, a new characid fish from the rio Tramandaí system, southern Brazil (Characiformes: Characidae). Zootaxa, 3794 (3): 492–500.
  8. ^ Ingenito, L.F.S. & Duboc, L.F. (2014): A new species of Astyanax (Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Characidae) from the upper rio Iguaçu basin, southern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 12 (2): 281-290.
  9. ^ Oliveira, C.A.M., Abilhoa, V. & Pavanelli, C.S. (2013): Astyanax guaricana (Ostariophysi: Characidae), a new species from the rio Cubatão drainage, Paraná State, Southern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 11 (2): 291-296.
  10. ^ Camelier, P. & Zanata, A.M. (2014): A new species of Astyanax Baird & Girard (Characiformes: Characidae) from the Rio Paraguaçu basin, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil, with comments on bony hooks on all fins. Journal of Fish Biology, 84 (2): 475–490.
  11. ^ Lucena, C.A.S. de, Bertaco, V.A. & Berbigier, G. (2013): A new species of Astyanax from headwater streams of southern Brazil (Characiformes: Characidae). Zootaxa, 3700 (2): 226–236.
  12. ^ Tagliacollo, V.A.; R. Britzke, G.S.C. Silva, & R.C. Benine (2011). "Astyanax pirapuan: a new characid species from the upper Rio Paraguay system, Mato Grosso, Central Brazil (Characiformes, Characidae)" (PDF). Zootaxa 2749: 40–46. 
  • de Lucena, Carlos Alberto Santos (2003): New characid fish, Hyphessobrycon scutulatus, from the rio Teles Pires drainage, upper rio Tapajós system (Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Characidae). Neotropical Ichthyology 1(2): 93-96. PDF fulltext
  • Nelson, Joseph S. (2006): Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-25031-7