Allotoca catarinae

Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Allotoca catarinae
Original Description: 

  DE BUEN, F. (1942): Una nueva subespecie del Neoophorus diazi (Meek). Anales del Instituto de Biologia. No 13(1): pp 341 - 349


  The species is named for the type-locality, the Presa or Laguna de Santa Catarina in Michoacán.


   Fernando de Buen didn't mention any type he deposited. Additionally, we couldn't find any collection number (maybe there is no one). De Buen wrote in his description, that the species (subspecies following him) had been collected on 11 and 12.08.1941 by fishers (he mentioned no names) of the Estación Limnológica de Pátzcuaro. A figur in his paper showed a female, but another one the andropodium of a male, so there could be read little into of which gender the type might have been.

English Name: 
Catarina Allotoca
Mexican Name: 
Tiro Catarina

Neoophorus diazi   Hubbs & Turner, 1939 (partially)

Neoophorus diazi catarinae   de Buen, 1942

Neoophorus catarinae   Álvarez del Villar, 1959


  The Karyotype describes the number and appearance of chromosomes during the phase of condensation, classified by the position of the centromere (Levan et al., 1964).

The following abbreviations are employed:


M = large metacentric chromsome (a result of Robertsonian fusion)

m = small metacentric chromsome (centromere at medium position)

sm = submetacentric chromsome (centromere at submedian position)

smst = submetacentric-subtelocentric chromosome (continous series)

st = subtelocentric chromosome (centromere at subterminal region)

stt = subtelocentric-acrocentric chromosome (continous series)

t = acrocentric chromosome (centromere at terminal region)


The Karyotype of Allotoca catarinae, following Uyeno, Miller & Fitzsimons, 1983:

  2n = 46    2M/ 4st/ 40t  

The maximum known SL is about 70mm (61mm TL by de Buen).
Terra typica: 

  The types come from the small Presa or Laguna de Santa Catarina, from the vicinity of Uruapan in Michoacán.

Status : 

  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): not assessed


  Conservation status and population trends of Mexican Goodeids (Lyons, 2011): vulnerable/stable – Known from about 10 locations in the upper Rio Cupatitzio drainage in the upper Balsas River basin near the city of Uruapan and possibly also in the Lake Cuitzeo/Grande de Morelia and Lake Pátzcuaro basins, although the taxonomic status of specimens from outside of the Río Cupatitzio drainage is uncertain (Doadrio and Domínguez-Domínguez 2004). None of these populations are particularly large, but all have persisted since the late 1990s.


  NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010: Categoría de riesgo (Category of risk): P - En Peligro de Extinción (in danger of extinction)

Distribution and ESU's: 

  This species - like all Allotoca - comes from the Pacific Slope. It can be found in the Río Santa Catarina-Cupatitzio system, above and below Uruapán in Michoacán.


   ESU ist short for Evolutionarily Significant Unit.  Each unit expresses an isolated population with different genetic characteristics within one species.  ESU's can be defined by Molecular genetics, Morphology and/or Zoogeography and help in indicating different phylogenetic lineages within a species. The abbreviation for an ESU is composed of three letters of the genus, followed by the first two letters of the species name and an ongoing number in each species.


In Allotoca catarinae no ESU's can be distinguished, so all populatiosn belong to Alcat1


  The habitats are moderately sized streams and reservoirs in clear water over substrates of rocks, sand, mud and silt. It prefers densely packed submergent plant stands in depths of less than 1m.


  De Buen described the colour of the females (preserved in formol) as dark on the dorsal part, pale on venter, cheek and nape. Dorsal, caudal and pectoral fins are tenderly shaded, ventral and anal fins generally clear. Even if there is a variable colouration on the flanks, no specimen shows elongated, transversal blotches or distinct vertical bands. Young females of 20 to 24mm are irregular mottled; near 30mm, the colour changes into a uniformity, showing a trace of a dark longitudinal band in some individuals. In bigger females, the irregular blotches and spots become more and denser, giving some females even a nearly uniform grey appearance, only on the caudal peduncle, there can be seen a certain tendency to form vertical traces through association of spots.    Though de Buen obviously had also males for the description, he mentioned indeed the small size (up to 36mm), but did not give a definition of their colouration.


  Fernando de Buen isolated thirteen 12.5mm long embryos from a 53mm TL female. It may have a long reproduction period because pregnant females were caught in late February and mid-April. De buen observed in 1942 embryos in the first half of August.


  This species is said to feed on aufwuchs and detrital material sifted from bottom silt. However, looking at the dentition, form and size of mouth as well, it is more likely that this species, like its congeners, feed on small invertebrates and maybe small fish.


  Already in 1939, Hubbs and Turner examined specimens, caught from H. M. Smith in "a lake near Uruapan" and found differentiating characters and a distant colour-pattern to the fish described by Meek as Zoogoneticus diazi. A few years after the subspecies-description by de Buen, Álvarez found these characters strong enough to lift it into specific rank. Last examinations by Domínguez et al. see the three related forms (catarinae, diazi and meeki) very close to each other. 


  Taking in consideration biogeographical and phylogenetical facts, this species should not live in the documented area. A mountain range is isolating the area of Uruapan from the Pátzcuaro basin for such a so long time, that the diazi-like ancestors of catarinae may have never reached the upper Río Cupatitzio drainage, where catarinae is living now. An interesting theory to riddle this, has been developed by Domínguez (pers. comm. 2011), seeing this species as a product of a kind of fertility rite of indigenous people bringing fish from the surrounding areas (in the case of Allotoca catarinae it might have been Allotoca diazi from the Pátzcuaro-area) to a ceremonial place and release them. This theory is supported by the sympatric existence of the - out of the same reasons - not expected Alloophorus robustus. However, though sounding adventurously, maybe not unlikely, and absolutely worth to think about.


  Looking on the biotopes of Allotoca catarinae, they suggest the species may prefer a habitat with moderate to swift current, structured with gravel, rocks, roots, branches, fallen leaves and river bank vegetation. Fry is eaten in most of the cases, but it may depend on the quantity and quality of food and on the number of space to hide. When several different stages of juveniles occur, fry may be neglected, so it makes sense to add separate brought up fry to the group with a size of 1.5 or 2cm to provide these stages and get a flock breeding colony.


 The recommended tank size is at least 100 liters, bigger ones with a generous base and little height (25cm are enough) are better for sure. With rocks and vegetation in the corners and backsinde of the tank well structured tanks combined with some roots and/ or wood seem to do best with this species. The current should be moderate or swift. 


 In the wild, the species seem to feed from small or middle - sized invertebrates like bloodworms or insect larvae, so feeding with similar food, Daphnia, Mysis and other food from animalistic sources will be best for this predatory fish.   


 Concerning water quality, this species is in need of greater water changes (60 - 80% every week) like most of the Goodeids, especially river and spring inhabiting species, so an automatic water changing system can be helpful. Otherwise, in combination with constant temperatures higher than 24°C, fish may get sick, lose resistance against diseases and age too fast. So for keeping the strain healthy and strong, give the fish a rest during winter time with temperatures lower than 20°C for 2 or 3 months so they stop producing fry. Allotoca species can be kept down to temperatures of 15 or 16°C without problems for months, some species even lower. In spring, when the temperature slowly increases, they will start spawning at 20 or 21°C and won't stop until it gets colder again or when it gets too warm (25°C?).


 This species is doing very well when is kept in the open from spring to fall, starting when the temperature exceeds 15°C water temperature and cold periods are no longer expected. During the warm summer, reproduction will stop and may occur again in fall. Bring the fish in before the temperature goes below 10°C water temperature and keep them cool for the first days, then slowly raise the temperature but try to stay below 20°C over the winter time.

First Describer: 
(de Buen, 1942)