Original description as Heros macracanthus:
- Günther, Albert C. L. G. 1864. "Report of a collection of fishes made by Messrs. Dow, Godman, and Salvin in Guatemala". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1864, pp. 144-154 (ffm00137)
Conservation: Astatheros macracanthus is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2018). Astatheros macracanthus is not listed in the Mexican Official Norm NOM-059-ECOL-2001. The habitat remains stable in most of its range.