There is considerable confusion in the literature regarding the systematic position and distribution of two pseudothelphusid crabs originally described as Potamocarcinus reflexifrons Ortmann, 1897 and Potamocarcinus reflexifrons fittkaui Bott, 1967, and now included in the genus Fredius Pretzman, 1965, as F. reflexifrons and F. fittkaui. Study of numerous specimens from recent collections, together with a critical analysis of the data published in the literature, shows that both taxa could be easily separated by gonopodal characters. The two species occupy discrete areas of distribution along the main axis of the Amazon River and in the upper Rio Negro Basin, respectively, with an overlap in the Atlantic Guianas. It is postulated that they originated from a common ancestor, through a process of vicariance, in the two areas observed at present. Permeability of barriers allowed their further occupancy of the Atlantic Guianas after the marine regressions in this area.
Pseudothelphusidae; Fredius; freshwater crabs; Amazon region; biogeography