In their Central American home countries, the predatory colorful cichlids, that are classified currently in the genus Parachromis – before this, they were placed in Cichlasoma or Nandopsis – are called “Guapotes“. That means “the big pretty ones”. And actually, these species, some of which can reach up to 50 cm in length, are very attractive.
The smallest of them has so far been called Parachromis loisellei. It becomes “only” 25-30 cm long and only the males and in exceptional cases. Usually one can count on sizes up to 20 cm, they become sexually mature with 10 cm.
Particularly P. loisellei is besides regarded as most peaceful species, that in contrast to some other species of the genus. They only becomes “soggy” if the animals feel molested. However, a large aquarium is still a basic prerequisite for fish and aquarists to enjoy each other without restriction.
It was not until 2018, during the follow-up examination of the type specimen of P. friedrichsthalii, a species described as early as 1840, that it turned out that this specimen is actually identical to P. loisellei described as late as 1989. Thus P. loisellei became the synonym of P. friedrichsthalii. The fish that has been common in the hobby as P. friedrichsthalii is another species, which is now called P. multifasciatus. The exact background can be read here:
Morgenstern, R. (2018): Fishes collected by Emanuel Ritter von Friedrichsthal in Central America between 1838-1841. Vertebrate Zoology v. 68 (no. 3): 253-267.
We have the smallest of the “big pretty ones” as German offspring in the stock; until the current naming in the trade and among the hobbyists has prevailed, it will probably still take some time, on our stock list it is to be found until further notice still as Cichlasoma loisellei.
For our customers: the animals have code 652803 on our stocklist. Please note that we only deliver to wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer