The great similarities in the external morphologies and the lack of knowledge on ontogenetic and intersexual differences of species in the ariid genus Cathorops Jordan and Gilbert, 1882, has led to an abundance of misidentifications, causing great nomenclatural instability. Accordingly,
the taxonomic statuses of the Cathorops species described from Eastern Pacific have remained controversial in the literature, even in recent studies. Here, we describe Cathorops raredonae, a new species from Mesoamerica (Mexico to El Salvador) and redescribe (in Cathorops)
Tachysurus liropus Bristol, 1897, and Arius taylori Hildebrand, 1925, often listed as junior synonyms of Cathorops fuerthii (Steindachner, 1877) and Cathorops steindachneri (Gilbert and Starks, 1904), respectively, or treated as species inquirendae in Cathorops.
We also redescribe and redefine the circumscriptions of C. fuerthii and C. steindachneri. Finally, we summarize current statuses of nominal species of Cathorops from the Eastern Pacific and provide an artificial key to identify the valid Pacific species.
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