A few weeks ago we received a shipment of hald grown wild collected discus via Manaus. The animals acclimatised very well. As soon as they showed the normal coloration we found that there was one very special animal among them. It was blotched. Initially we thought that the animal would be sick, but it feeds well and interacts with its conspecifics. If the fish is disturbed it becomes dark, and sometimes the regular stripes are visible. In situations the animal is relaxed the basic colour tends to orange. There are only little doubts left that the fish indeed represents a so-called „Orange Blotch“ (= OB) morph.
The OB phenomenon can e observed in serval species of cichlid from Africa and South America that are not closely related to each other. The most popular OB fishes come from lake Malawi, the so called „marmelade cats“, but OB morphs are also found in Tropheus moorii from lake Tanganyika, in species of Oreochromis from Central and Western Africa and in species of Amphilophus from Central America. The biological sense of this phenomenon is not understood yet.
We can say that we never heard so far that the OB phenomenon also appears in wild discus. From an aesthetic point of view the fish is not very spectacular. But the phenomenon as such is remarkable and we are very curious if this fish will become the ancestor of a new strain of bred discus sport.
Text & photos: Frank