White Saum Green terror finally named

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The beautiful Green terror cichlid sold in the aquarium hobby under the names Silver Saum, Silbersaum and White Saum has finally been described by scientists.

Previously believed a colour variant of the Green terror, Andinoacara (formerly Aequidens) rivulatus (pictured above), the new species has been named Andinoacara stalsbergi by Zuzana Musilova, Ingo Schindler and Wolfgang Staeck.

A. stalsbergi, which is named after Alf Stalsberg, can be found in trans-Andean rivers and lakes along the Peruvian Pacific coastline of South America between the Rio Chira in the north and Rio Pisco in the south.

As fishkeepers have known for the past 40 years, it differs from the Green terror, Andinoacara rivulatus, in having a silvery white rather than an orange edge to the fins.

The scales of stalsbergi also have pale centres and dark margins that form a reticulate pattern on the flanks.

In the past, the Green terror, A. rivulatus, and the Gold Saum cichlid seen in the hobby have been considered potentially different species, with the Gold Saum being regarded as A. aequinoctalis by some experts — and the two are said to come from different areas.

However, the authors of this study follow Stawikowski and Werner’s 1998 study and Kullander’s 2003 paper in viewing the Green terror and Gold Saum as the same fish, presumably until further investigations should be able to clarify matters.

A. stalsbergi lives in waters with a temperature of around 22-25°C/72-77°F, pH 8.2-8.3 and hardness of 13-31 GH. It is said to tolerate very alkaline waters, including brackish conditions.

Most specimens examined were around 10-11cm/3.9-4.3” long.