Biotodoma cf. cupido

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

Origin: Upper reaches of the Rio Jari, part of the Rio Purus basin, but some considerable distance from the river itself.

Water: pH 6.51, 27.7°C/81.9°F, slightly cloudy almost still.

Habitat: Flood zone in a lake in the Rio Jari basin. Found over a sandy soil substrate which has no aquatic plants. This fish occurs in an area of untouched ‘caatinga’ scrub or thorn forest.

Aquarium: Spacious tank with a little flow. Sand substrate and bogwood for décor.

Notes: So far only two Biotodoma species have been described. Heckel described cupido in 1840 from the Rio Guapore and Rio Negro, while Gosse described wavrini from the Orinoco system in 1963.

The main distinguishing characteristic is position of the humeral spot. In cupido it is above the lateral line, while it is below in wavrini.

Biotodoma cupido is found from the Amazon basin of Bolivia, Peru and Brazil, and also from the Essequibo system in Guyana. B. wavrini comes from the upper Orinoco system, the Casiquiare and the Rio Negro. Both reach a maximum 12cm/5”.

There are more species hiding in this genus, something recently discovered in the closely related and peaceful genus Geophagus. Until recently, there were no Biotodoma species known from the Rio Jari, so this may possibly represent a new species.

This item was first published in the October 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.