Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Discus Cichlids

Symphysodon aequifasciatus   
Today's animal is actually.. well... three animals. There are three species of Discus Cichlids, all of which live in the Amazon River Basin, all of which have compressed, disc-like body shapes, and all of which have some really neat colors and patterns.

There is a little bit of controversy over how the three species are named and identified. There are two general camps, and both agree that there are three different species within the genus, but there is confusion over the classification. One group claims that S. discus  and S. aequifasciatus are close relatives, and a newly discovered species, S. tarzoo, is different due to its spots. Of course, a year after that finding was published another report came out arguing that S. tarzoo is actually S. haraldi, and that Haraldi adn Discus may have formed hybrids.

I'm confused just writing all that. And it doesn't help that these two studies give the same common names for different fish. The Green Discus is apparently both S. tarzoo and S. aequifasciatus! Anyway, for a little more clarity on the great Discus debate, check out this full article.

Discus Fish are popular in aquariums, and their farming has becoming quite a large industry in South Asia. Their bold coloring and interesting shape attract aquarists around the world. They also, like many Cichlids, have an interesting parenting style. While most fish lay their eggs and leave, both Discus Fish parents care for their larvae, even producing a secretion from their skin that their young can feed off of!

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Amazon Basin
Size : Length up to 10in (25cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Perciformes
Family : Cichlidae -- Genus : Symphysodon

1 comment:

  1. WoW! it's gorgeus! It's amazing what earth produces. :D


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