Bujurquina moriorum

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Matt Clarke looks at Bujurquina moriorum, a very rarely seen member of the cichlid subfamily Cichlasomatinae from Peru.

Scientific name: Bujurquina moriorum Kullander, 1986

Origin: Most specimens in museum collections have been caught in Peru, but a single collection has also been recorded from Ecuador.

Size: Around 10cm/4" when adult.

Diet: Sven Kullander says that the fish feeds on insects, insect larvae, fish and plants, so it's quite a generalist feeder. It should therefore take pretty much any foods you offer it.

Water: Soft, acidic and fairly warm, but should be OK when carefully acclimatised to harder water.

Aquarium: I've onlt ever kept B. vittata, but I would imagine that moriorum does well under similar conditions. I found vittata pretty placid for its size - mine were kept alongside some smaller cichlasomines in a 120cm/48" tank containing loads of bogwood. It's worth getting a small group of these and allowing them to pair off naturally.

Breeding: This species has been bred in captivity. It's an egg-layer with biparental care.

Notes: The Bujurquina genus is poorly known in the aquarium hobby, and hardly any of the 18 or so species described ever get imported into the UK. A dozen of these species (apoparuana, cordemadi, eurhinus, hophrys, huallagae, labiosa, megalospilus, moriorum, ortegai, peregrinabunda, robusta and tambopatae) were described by Kullander when he erected the genus in 1986. He desicribed Bujurquina oenolaemus the following year, but the remainder of the members (mariae, vittata, syspilus and zamorensis) were described by other scientists between 1840 and 1905 as members of the genus Acara. There are also some undescribed Aequidens that might be confused with this and other Bujurquina.

Availability: These fish were imported from Peru by Wildwoods in Middlesex. It's the first time I've seen them on sale here.

Price: Expect to pay about 10-20 pounds each for this species.