Astyanax (fish)

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Mexican Tetra (Astyanax mexicanus) (2687270083).jpg
Astyanax mexicanus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Subfamily: incertae sedis
Genus: Astyanax
S. F. Baird & Girard, 1854
Type species
Astyanax argentatus
Baird & Girard, 1854

Anoptichthys Hubbs & Innes, 1936
Bertoniolus Fowler, 1918
Bramocharax Gill, 1877 [1]
Evenichthys Whitley, 1935
Poecilurichthys Gill, 1858
Psalidodon Eigenmann, 1911
Zygogaster 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 150 described species and new ones being described yearly,[2] this genus is among the largest of the entire order; Hyphessobrycon also has more than 145 species and which one is larger at any one time depends on whether more species have been recently described in one or the other. The blind and colorless cave tetra of Mexico is a famous member of the genus, but its taxonomic position is disputed: Some recognize it as part of the Mexican tetra (A. mexicanus) and this is supported by phylogenetic evidence,[3][4][5][6][7] but others recognize the cave form as a separate species, A. jordani.[2]

The type species is A. argentatus, now regarded as a form of the Mexican tetra (A. mexicanus). 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. Although included in Astyanax by FishBase, phylogenetic evidence supports moving A. aurocaudatus back to the monotypic genus Carlastyanax.[8]


There are currently 147 recognized species in this genus:


  1. ^ a b c d e f Schmitter-Soto, Juan J. (2016). "A phylogeny of Astyanax (Characiformes: Characidae) in Central and North America". Zootaxa. 4109 (2): 101–130. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4109.2.1. PMID 27394856.
  2. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2016). Species of Astyanax in FishBase. October 2016 version.
  3. ^ Jeffery W (2009). "Regressive evolution in Astyanax cavefish". Annu. Rev. Genet. 43: 25–47. doi:10.1146/annurev-genet-102108-134216. PMC 3594788. PMID 19640230.
  4. ^ Dowling T. E., Martasian D. P., Jeffery W. R. (2002). "Evidence for multiple genetic forms with similar eyeless phenotypes in the blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus". Mol. Biol. Evol. 19 (4): 446–455. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a004100. PMID 11919286.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Bradic, Martina; Beerli, Peter; García-de León, Francisco J; Esquivel-Bobadilla, Sarai; Borowsky, Richard L (2012). "Gene flow and population structure in the Mexican blind cavefish complex (Astyanax mexicanus)". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12 (1): 9. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-12-9. PMC 3282648. PMID 22269119.
  6. ^ Strecker U., Faúndez V. H., Wilkens H. (2004). "Phylogeography of surface and cave Astyanax (Teleostei) from Central and North America based on cytochrome b sequence data". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 33 (2): 469–481. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.07.001. PMID 15336680.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Keene; Yoshizawa; McGaugh (2016). Biology and Evolution of the Mexican Cavefish. pp. 77–87. ISBN 978-0-12-802148-4.
  8. ^ Mirande, J.M., Jerep, F.C. & Vanegas-Ríos, J.A. (2013). "Phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic Carlastyanax aurocaudatus (Eigenmann) with remarks on the phylogeny of the Stevardiinae (Teleostei: Characidae)". Neotropical Ichthyology. 11 (4): 747–766. doi:10.1590/s1679-62252013000400003.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ a b c Lucena, C.A.S.d. & Soares, H.G. (2016). "Review of species of the Astyanax bimaculatus "caudal peduncle spot" subgroup sensu Garutti & Langeani (Characiformes, Characidae) from the rio La Plata and rio São Francisco drainages and coastal systems of southern Brazil and Uruguay". Zootaxa. 4072 (1): 101–125. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4072.1.5.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  10. ^ Bertaco, V.A. & Vigo, A.C. (2015). "A new species of Astyanax Baird & Girard (Ostariophysi: Characidae) from the rio Taquari-Antas basin, southern Brazil" (PDF). Neotropical Ichthyology. 13 (2): 265–272. doi:10.1590/1982-0224-20140145.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ a b c d e Garavello, J.C.; Sampaio, F.A.A. (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. PMID 21085790.
  12. ^ 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. doi:10.1590/s1679-62252013000300007.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  13. ^ Bertaco, V.A. (2014). "Astyanax douradilho, a new characid fish from the rio Tramandaí system, southern Brazil (Characiformes: Characidae)" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3794 (3): 492–500. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3794.3.10.
  14. ^ 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. doi:10.1590/1982-0224-20130117.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  15. ^ 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. doi:10.1590/s1679-62252013000200007.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  16. ^ Marinho, M.M.F., Camelier, P. & Birindelli, J.L.O. (2015). "Redescription of Astyanax guianensis Eigenmann, 1909 (Characiformes: Characidae), a poorly known and widespread fish from the Amazon, Orinoco and Guiana Shield drainages" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3931 (4): 568–578. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3931.4.6.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  17. ^ 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. doi:10.1111/jfb.12295.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  18. ^ Freitas, M.R.M., Lucinda, P.H.F. & Lucena, C.A.S. (2015). "Redescription of Astyanax novae Eigenmann, 1911 (Teleostei: Characidae)". Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. 26 (2): 183–192.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  19. ^ Lucena, C.A.S.d., Bertaco, V.A. & Berbigier, G. (2013). "A new species of Astyanax from headwater streams of southern Brazil (Characiformes: Characidae)". Zootaxa. 3700 (2): 226–236. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3700.2.2.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  20. ^ Tagliacollo, V.A., Britzke, R., Silva, G.S.C. & Benine, R.C. (2011). "Astyanax pirapuan: a new characid species from the upper Rio Paraguay system, Mato Grosso, Central Brazil (Characiformes, Characidae)" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2749: 40–46. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.2749.1.3.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)