Profundulus balsanus

English Name: 
Río Malinaltepec Killifish
Mexican Name: 
Escamudo del río Malinaltepec
Original Description: 

  AHL, E. (1935): Über eine Fischsammlung aus Mexiko. Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin. 1935. pp 107-112


  The species was named by Ahl, who erronously thought the river at the type locality would belong to the Balsas River drainage, after the river Balsas. The name of the species means therefore "the Profundulus of the Balsas".

  The genus Profundulus was erected by Carl Leavitt Hubbs in 1924 after recognizing differences to Fundulus in "several important respects". For him, "as the more generalized members of Fundulus, Cynolebias and some other american genera of the Cyprinodontidae, as well as the less specialized Goodeidae, resemble the species of Profundulus in habitus, it seems not improbable that Profundulus, of all american genera, diverges least from a general ancestral cyprinodont type." The ancient Greek word "pro" (πρό) means "before", so the name of the genus refers to this fact, that Hubbs believed that the members of Profundulus are basal to Fundulus. The genus Fundulus again can be derived from the Latin word "fundus" which means bottom; the suffix "-ulus" is also of Latin origin and indicates a diminutive. The genus Profundulus can therefore be translated with "before or older than the little one from the bottom". This odd name is in connection with the English expression "mud minnow" for Fundulus heteroclitus, with the name originating from its method of avoiding freezing during the winter months. When winter arrives, they burrow their way into the sediment and mud at the bottom of their habitat.