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Apistogramma kullanderi, a new showstopper

By Leonard Ho - Posted Jan 21, 2015 09:00 AM
Apistogramma sp. are amongst the most spectacular cichlids - nay, fish in the world. A new species was added to this genus last month. Apistogramma kullanderi continues the tradition of excellence for this dwarf cichlid genus.


Recently collected live specimens: male (top) and female (bottom)

As vibrant as the above two specimens are, these photos really do not do Apistogramma justice.  When males of this genus flare their fins, they are a true sight to behold.  For example, look at the spines on this male Apistogramma cacatuoides:

Photo by William Kreijkes
Photo by William Kreijkes

With fins collapsed, it's still readily apparent that both the male and female Apistogramma kullanderi are beautiful fish.  A.kullanderi is also the largest recorded species of the genus - just compare the body and head of the male A.kullanderi at top to the A.cacatuoides above.  The newly described species is truly a titan among dwarfs.

Apistogramma kullanderi is endemic to an upland watershed in Brazil that is isolated by large waterfalls on all sides.  This may explain how they evolved to be so uniquely pigmented and large for the dwarf cichlid genus.

Journal Reference: Varella, H.R. & Sabaj Pérez, M.H. (2014): A titan among dwarfs: Apistogramma kullanderi, new species

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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