German scientists have described a third species of checkerboard cichlid (Dicrossus) from Colombia.
Ingo Schindler and Wolfgang Staeck describe the new species as Dicrossus gladicauda in the latest issue of the journal Vertebrate Zoology.
Dicrossus gladicauda can be distinguished from D. filamentosus and D. maculatus (the other two species in the genus), in having a conspicuously asymmetrical caudal fin with a long filamentous extension on its dorsal lobe in adult males.
The new species is presently only known from the lower Atabapo River drainage in Colombia, although fish exported for the aquarium trade are said to come from the Orinoco River drainage.
Dicrossus gladicauda is named after the unusual caudal-fin shape in males (from the Latin gladius - sword; and cauda - tail, in reference to the extension on its dorsal lobe). This species was previously referred to as Dicrossus sp. Obenschwert or Dicrossus sp. "Top Sword in some aquarium literature.
According to the authors, he type locality of Dicrossus gladicauda is a typical blackwater habitat with clear, acid and very soft tea-coloured water (pH 4.4; electrical conductivity 10 _S/cm; total and temporary hardness