A new-to-science dwarf cichlid: Apistogramma erythrura

by Owen James

This Apistogramma is new to science, but not to aquarists

This Apistogramma is new to science, but not to aquarists

Practical Fishkeeping has picked up a tip from some Apisto fans that the gorgeous Apistogramma above has been formally named Apistogramma erythrura by scientists in the Journal of Vetebrate Zoology.

The writers describe it thus:

Apistogramma erythrura is known from the lower Mamoré River in the province of Beni in Bolivia.

The following combination of characters in adult males is unique to A. erythrura: usually a partly or even completely bright red rounded caudal fin, extremely elongate anterior dorsal-fin lappets (those of fourth to sixth spine longest) and prolonged pelvic-fin filaments reaching the posterior end of the anal-fin base.

The species is named after the colour of the caudal fin in most adult males (Greek erythro=red and ouros=tail) and has been imported into the aquarium trade since 1995 as Apistogramma sp. “Mamoré”.

The authors’ report (which can be downloaded as a PDF about Apistogramma erythrura) explains that the fish were collected in a typical Apistogramma habitat of streams of clear, acidic and very soft warm water.

The authors also observed the fish breeding in an aquarium:

“Observations under aquarium conditions revealed Apistogramma erythrura to be a polygynous secretive spawner. Males defend a territory containing several potential spawning sites. Each of them may serve as the focus of a smaller territory occupied by a female. Like most cave brooders these dwarf cichlids place their eggs on the bottom side of a horizontal surface. The preferred spawning site is the underside of a stout plant leaf.”

“At 27°C hatching occurs about three days postspawning, and the fry attempt swimming approximately five days thereafter. After spawning the female drives the male energetically from the close proximity of the spawning site. Parental care is exclusively maternal in this species, although the male may indirectly assist by defending the territory against predators.”

You can learn more from the species page at the Apisto Sites website.

Check out Katy's Tropical Fish Guide for more aquarium info.

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