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Genus Bramocharax


Subfamily: Incertae sedis









This page was originally created in 1995, since then two more new species have been discovered. 


The species in general inhabit rivers and streams of little to moderate velocity, occurring between 5 to 530 m elevation. Predator in lakes and rivers. Feeds principally on other fishes such as tetras, Poeciliids and Cichlids, but also consumes terrestrial and aquatic insects to a lesser degree.  In life, B. bransfordi is light amber, the gill cover has silvery reflections, and the fins of large adults, particularly the pelvic, anal and caudal fins, are rosy. The pectoral and dorsal fins are clear or pale yellow. In half-grown and juvenile B. dorioni the fins are clear or pale yellow; the caudal fin sometimes has a pinkish wash. Snout shape and size separate the 4 species. B. bransfordi have a slightly higher average anal and pectoral fin ray number than B. dorioni. However, the lateral line scale number is lower when compared to B. dorioni.


The other interesting physiological difference is that B. brandsfordi has two (2) canine teeth that overhang the lower jaw.


For more than half a century Bramocharax was known only from Nicaragua. Additional specimens were collected by Bussing in Costa Rica and recently reported (1967). The Guatemalan form is distinctly different from each of the more southern representatives of the genus. Of the southern populations, Bussing remarked that a faunal assemblage including Bramocharax probably had its origin in the great lakes of Nicaragua and ... seems to be moving southward along the broad lowlands of Atlantic Costa Rica.


B. baileyi is a slender bodied, long-snouted from of Bramocharax. The humeral spot is vertical, extending below lateral line.


Dorsal fin rays 11 (13); anal fin rays, 25 (1), 26 (3), 27 (6), 28 (3); pelvic fin rays (sum of right and left counts), 16 (13); pectoral fin rays (sum of right and left counts), 25 (1), 28 (4), 29 (3), 30 (4), 32 (1); lateral line scales, 36 (1), 37 (9); scale rows on left side (counted obliquely backward and pelvic fin origin), 14 1/2 (7), 15 1/2 (5).  The first known sample of B. baileyi was taken in the Rio Dolores.  Abundant catches of poeciliid genera (Xiphophorus and Heterandra) were taken with B. baileyi.


In relative snout length B. baileyi is intermediate between B. dorioni and B. bransfordi and in six diagnostic dentitional features B. dorioni and B. bransfordi are similar, but distinct from B. baileyi. Likewise, in the single diagnostic pigmentary feature B. dorioni resembles large B. bransfordi which also has the humeral spot well developed only above the lateral line. In fact, B. dorioni and B. baileyi exactly resemble each other only in having the upper canines concealed, rather than overhanging the lower lip when closed (unlike B. bransfordi).



Bramocharax baileyi

Bramocharax baileyi

Rosen 1972


Usumacinta river basin, Guatemala.

Bramocharax bransfordii

Bramocharax bransfordii 

Gill 1877


Synonym B. elongatus

Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua basins, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Bramocharax caballeroi

Bramocharax caballeroi

Contreras-Balderas & Rivera-Teillery 1985


Catemaco Lake basin, Mexico.

Bramocharax dorioni

Bramocharax dorioni

Rosen 1970


Usumacinta river basin, Guatemala.




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UPDATED: 12/05/2015