A new species of Crenicichla has been described from the rio Juruena basin, a headwater tributary of the rio Tapajós in Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Crenicichla chica is named in reference to traditional celebrations of the Paresi (or Halíti) people, an indigenous group originally inhabiting the Juruena region.
The new taxon is closely related to C. hemera from the nearby rio Aripuanã system, but differs in possession of additional E1 scales (66-75 vs. 58-65) and presence of a conspicuous black narrow stripe running from infraorbital 3 obliquely caudoventrad toward the preopercular margin vs. a rounded and faint suborbital marking present on infraorbitals 3-4.
C. chica can be distinguished from all other members of the genus, currently the most speciose of neotropical cichlid groupings with almost 90 members, by a combination of infraorbitals 3 and 4 co-ossified (vs. separated) and 66-75 scales in the row immediately above to that containing the lower lateral line (E1 row scales).
It was mostly collected from clear, swiftly-flowing waters among rocks and boulders, and at one lñocality occurred alongside an undescribed member of the C. saxatilis species group. The authors also state that like other Crenichla spp. it is unafraid of humans, even inquisitive, and therefore easily collected by hand net.
The confirmation of C. guentheri (Ploeg 1991) as a junior subjective synonym of C. hemera is also discussed in the paper.
For further information please see the full, open access paper: Varella, H. R., S. O. Kullander, and F. C. T. Lima (2012). Crenicichla chicha, a new species of pike cichlid (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the rio Papagaio, upper rio Tapajós basin, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology DOI: 10.1590/S1679-62252012000200002