Published: March 15, 2015

Fishes in Guatemala - Peten

Caleb McMahan, Head of Zoological Collections; Collections Manager, Fishes, Gantz Family Collections Center


After finishing up sampling several localities in the Coban-Rio Cahabon region, we began to head north in Guatemala to the Department of Peten.  Peten is the largest department in Guatemala and possesses some of the largest lakes and rivers in the country.

The drive from Coban to where we were going was a long, but scenic one.  The first part of the drive was still in the highlands and cloud forests, before descending into the lowland rainforests of Peten.  Along the way we made one stop at a locality known as Las Pozas.  This small lake was a great site - in that as far as we know, there are no introduced species (e.g. tilapia, plecos/armored catfish) that occur there.  We were sampling along the banks where there was vegetation and habitat for fishes to hide and look for food.  We collected several species not encountered on the trip so far, including Hyphessobrycon compressus (a species of tetra), a few cichlid species of the genus Thorichthys (one of which was the popular firemouth cichlid, T. meeki), and 'Cichlasoma' salvini.  We also collected a freshwater eel.

After finishing up at Las Pozas, we continued north on the drive to Peten, finally arriving at El Remate.  We will be working there in the lakes of Peten.  We will update soon with what we find here!

Stay tuned for photos - problems with uploading today.