Apistogramma Identification Worksheet
by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999
[This text was edited from a larger message Mike sent to the Apisto Mailing
List -- Editor.]
If anyone wants me to try and ID a fish I'll need as much information as
possible. We need some standardized terms. I recommend everyone refer to
the diagrams shown here
and use these terms when
[Editor's note: these diagrams try to represent a composite of all the major distinguishing
features of Apistogramma species in a compact space. These are not actual species!]
Drawings by Erik Olson
Try to answer as many
following questions as possible:
- What was it called when you got it?
- Was it wild caught or domestic?
- What other fish (if any) - not just the cichlids - came in the shipment with it?
- How large is it? (Use inches or metric, it doesn't matter to me.)
- Does it appear to be an adult or a juvenile?
- Name a species that has a similar body shape.
- Is it deep (high) bodied & laterally compressed (like A.
- Is it elongate and slightly compressed (like
A. cacatuoides)? or
- Is it elongate and fusiform (like A. pertensis)?
Male's dorsal fin size and shape:
- Name a species with a similar fin shape.
- Is it high or low?
- Does it have any extended spines?
- Is the back tip extended (at least as far back as mid-caudal)?
- Is the top edge even (like A. agassizii)?
- Is the top edge serrated (saw edged) (like A. macmasteri) ?
- Is the top edge fused together, sail-like, (like
A. pertensis)? or
- Does the top have extended front spiny lappets (like A. cacatuoides)?
- Does either sex, especially the female, show a dark lateral spot or
patch on its side?
- If so, is it very large or nearly the same width as the lateral band?
Lateral band: (usually better seen on females):
Caudal (peduncle) spot:
- Is there a spot/patch at the base of the tail?
- If so, describe its size and shape.
- Does the lateral band merge with it or stop before it gets to it?
- What other species has a similarly shaped tail?
- What shape is it? round, squared off in the back, spade shaped or lyretailed?
- Are there any extended tips on the top and bottom in the male?
- Are there any any spots or pattern in the tail fin?
Finally, list the dwarf cichlid books you have so that I can refer you