Laetacara araguaiae

19. October 2009

Laetacara sp. „Buckelkopf“ described scientifically.

Laetacara sp. „Buckelkopf“ is known in the hobby for many years already. The somewhat unusal common name (the German word „Buckelkopf“ means „humphead“) derives from the feature developed by some very old males, but this happens rather seldom. It is a typical dwarf cichlid, the males grow to a length of about 8, the females of about 6 cm. The typical open brooders with biparental care are easy to keep and breed.

Now the species has been formally described by F. P. Ortoni and W. J. E. M. Costa as Laetacara araguaiae. According to the authors the species comes from the Rio Verde in the Rio Araguaia drainage. However, aquarium literature gives a much wider distrubition, namely the southeastern tributaries of the Amzon river from the Tapajos to the mouth of the Amazon and also the Xingu river.

So finally the second species of Laetacara that had to be named provisionally by aquarists (Laetacara sp. „Orangefin“ has been described already in 2007 by W. Staeck and I. Schindler as L. fulvipinnis) has valid a scientific name.

Interstingly the authors obviously inteded to describe a further species of Laetacara and by mistake in two occasions this species is mentioned under the name L. minuatacara (pp. 45 and 46) in the paper. However, this name remains a nomen nudum without any validity, but clearly shows that we can  expect more new species in this interesting genus.

The original papers can be downloaded for free as pdf-files from for L. fulvipinnis and for L. araguaiae.

For our customers: Laetacara araguaiae has code 603001 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Laetacara: from Latin “laetus” = cheerful and the indigenous name “acara” for cichlid. Refers to the pattern on the snout which suggests that the fish is smiling. araguaiae: from the river Araguaia. fulvipinnis: with orange fins.

Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: H. J. Mayland, Aqualog archieves