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Orestias (Cyprinodontidae)

Orestias is a genus of pupfish. Older systematics classified them into the own family Orestiidae. They are carnivorous plankton feeders and can reach a length between 9 and 22 centimetres. Their most characteristic feature is the absence of the ventral fin. They are endemic in the Lake Titicaca and other lakes of the Altiplano in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile in an altitude up to 3,600 metres asl. Many species of that genus became rare in the past decades due to the competition with introduced fish species, pollution and human activities at the lakes. One species - the Titicaca Orestias (Orestias cuvieri) - was last seen in 1939 and is probably extinct; several others are known only very restricted ranges (Parenti 1984). Several species are colloquially known as carache.


The following 43 species belonging to the genus Orestias were divided by American ichthyologist Lynne R. Parenti depending on their relationships into four species complexes in 1984. Lussen (2003) researched the phylogeny of several species including mtDNA sequence data; due to hybridization being known to occur , mtDNA data cannot be relied upon to resolve the evolution of this genus on its own.

Agassii species complex

Orestias agassizii - Carache Negro

Orestias albus - Carache Amarillo

Orestias ascotanensis

Orestias chungarensis

Orestias ctenolepis

Orestias elegans

Orestias empyraeus

Orestias frontosus

Orestias gymnotus

Orestias hardini

Orestias jussiei - Carache Amarillo

Orestias lastarriae

Orestias laucaensis

Orestias luteus - Carache Amarillo

Orestias multiporis

Orestias mundus

Orestias olivaceus

Orestias parinacotensis

Orestias polonorum

Orestias puni

Orestias richersoni

Orestias rotundipinnis

Orestias silustani

Orestias tschudii

Orestias ututo

Cuvieri species complex

Orestias cuvieri - Titicaca Orestias, Amanto; extinct (mid-20th century)

Orestias forgeti - Ispi

Orestias ispi - Ispi

Orestias pentlandii - Boga

Gilsoni species complex

Orestias gilsoni

Orestias imarpe

Orestias minimus

Orestias minutus

Orestias mooni

Orestias robustus

Orestias taquiri

Orestias tchernavini

Orestias tomcooni

Orestias uruni

Mulleri species complex

Orestias crawfordi

Orestias gracilis

Orestias incae

Orestias mulleri

Orestias tutini


(2003): Zur Systematik, Phylogenie und Biogeographie chilenischer Arten der Gattung Orestias VALENCIENNES, 1839. Doctoral thesis, University of Hamburg, Germany. [in German] PDF fulltext

(1984): A taxonomic revision of the Andean Killifish Genus Orestias . Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 178: 107-214. PDF fulltext

(1964): Vermeintliche Artbastarde in der Gattung Orestias . Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburgischen Zoologischen Museum und Institut, Kosswig-Festschrift: 285-291. [Article in German]

(1972): Gefahren fur die endemische Fischfauna durch Einburgerungsversuche und Akklimatisation von Fremdfischen am Beispiel des Titicacas-Sees (Peru/Bolivien) und des Lanao-Sees (Mindanao/Philippinen). Verhandlungen des Internationalen Vereins fur Limnologie 18: 1227-1234. [Article in German]

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Orestias (Cyprinodontidae)

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