Apistogramma sp.1 'Jari' and sp.2 'Jari'

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Heiko Bleher describes two new species of cichlid he discovered in the Rio Jari river system in Brazil.

Origin: I found both in a stream called Igarape Miguel, a Rio Jari right bank tributary in the Rio Purus basin.

Water: They were discovered in a blackwater habitat full of leaves and branches. When I visited the pH was 5.61, <1GH, and water temperature 27.3°C/81.1°F. Fish found amid dense, untouched high primary tropical rainforest.

Habitat: Very shallow leafy shore regions and alongside many small characoid species such as Iguanodectes, Hyphessobrycon, Copella and Moenkhausia cf. collettii. Area is full of leaves and branches.

Aquarium: Ideal for small aquariums and should enjoy a biotope set-up. Add driftwood, leaves and a small rocky cave if wishing to breed these fish.

Notes: There are now at least 73 species in the Apistogramma genus, but there seems no end to numbers being found. These cichlids are distributed in South America east of the Andes from Venezuela to Argentina.

Few collections have yet been made from the Rio Purus and this is the first evidence from the upper Jari basin.

There are still many undescribed species in this vast river basin.Many look similar or live together and may simply be colour morphs. This could even be the case with sp. ‘1 Jari’ and sp. ‘2 Jari’.

They are being bred extensively in Germany and Sweden, so will hopefully appear in the UK.