Diversity found in Neotropical freshwater fish is remarkable. It can even hinder a proper delimitation of many species, with the wolf fish Erythrinus erythrinus (Teleostei, Characiformes) being a notable example. This nominal species shows remarkable intra-specific variation, with extensive karyotype diversity found among populations in terms of different diploid chromosome numbers (2n), karyotype compositions and sex chromosome systems. Here, we analyzed three distinct populations (one of them cytogenetically investigated for the first time) that differed in terms of their chromosomal features (termed karyomorphs) and by the presence or absence of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. We combined cytogenetics with genomic approaches to investigate how the evolution of multiple sex chromosomes together with allopatry is linked to genetic diversity and speciation. The results indicated the presence of high genetic differentiation among populations both from cytogenetic and genomic aspects, with long-distance allopatry potentially being the main agent of genetic divergence. One population showed a neo-X1 X2 Y sexual chromosome system and we hypothesize that this system is associated with enhanced inter-population genetic differentiation which could have potentially accelerated speciation compared to the effect of allopatry alone.