Category: Blog


Published: January 5, 2015

Systematics and Taxonomy of Cichlids in the Genus Thorichthys

Stephanie Ware, Manager, Morphology Labs, SEM


Project Mentor: Dr. Caleb McMahan (Collections Manager, Fishes, Gantz Family Collections Center)

Project Description: The genus Thorichthys includes eight currently recognized species of Middle American cichlids, found in rivers and lakes of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. The most recognizable species in this genus is the firemouth cichlid, Thorichthys meeki, characterized by the bright orange and red coloration under the jaw. Recent and ongoing molecular phylogenetic research has shown this group of fishes is in need of thorough systematic study and taxonomic revision.

Research methods and techniques: This project will use morphological and molecular data to study the evolutionary history and taxonomy of fire-mouth cichlids, with particular focus on investigating morphological characters to better diagnose species within the genus and re-assess currently recognized species diversity. The intern will be trained in organismal biology of the family Cichlidae, with emphasis on neotropical cichlids. The intern will examine morphological characters based on the skeleton and coloration and will be involved in analytical parts of the project.

Stephanie Ware
Manager, Morphology Labs, SEM

Stephanie Ware is currently a research assistant in the Division of Insects currently working with Dr. Petra Sierwald. She also works with Mary Hennen in the Division of Birds monitoring the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) populations in Illinois.