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Library > Cichlids > General Articles > Taxonomy of Cichlids >Sub Family cichlasomatiene > Genera Andinoacara > Andinoacara coeruleopunctaus
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Species Andinoacara coeruleopunctaus  
Scientific classification
Image Credit : Alf Stalsberg
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Perciformes
Suborder : Labroidei
Family : Cichlidae
Sub Family : Cichlasomatin
Genus : Andinoacara
Morphometric Data
Total Length (inches) 7.60
Standard Length (inches) 5.60
Measurements as a % of Standard Length
Fork _length
Pre_ anal _length
Pre dorsal_length
Pre_ pelvic_length
Body_ depth
Eye diameter
Snout_ length
Inter orbital_width
Pre orbital_depth
Caudal _peduncle_depth
Caudal _peduncle_length
Pectoral _fin_length
Pelvic_ fin_length
Length _of_last_ dorsal_ fin_spine
Scientific Name : Andinoacara coeruleopunctaus
Common Name : Mojarra
Geo Origin : AMERICA, South America, Central America: Atlantic slope of Panama and Pacific slope of Costa Rica (Coto River).
Diet : Carnivore
Gender Differences : Dimorphic
Breeding : Substrate Spawner
Temperament : Aggressive
Con specific Temperament : Mildly aggressive
Standard Length : 5.6 "
Total Length : 7.6"
Water Hardness: Soft, ph range: 5.5-6.7, dh Range: 1-3
Difficulty ; 3


Andinoacara coeruleopunctaus is a medium sized fish in the genus, it has a TL(Total length) of 7.6 ".

Andinoacara coeruleopunctaus is distributed in Central America: Atlantic slope of Panama and Pacific slope of Costa Rica (Coto River).

(Click for details of Cichlid taxonomy)

Andinoacara coeruleopunctaus was first described by Kner in 1863 as Acara coeruleopunctaus.
It was afterwards placed in genus Aequidens, however 1n 2009 a new genus Andinoacara was described based on Molecular data.

Andinoacara genus is further spilt up-to into two clades, Andinoacara pulcher group and Andinoacara rivulatus group.

The genus name Andinoacara is formed by two words "Andino" and "Acara".
Andino refers to Andes Mountain Chain in South America, these cichlids are found on the slopes of Andes mountains and in the valley formed by three arms of Northern Andes.
The term "Acara" has been used historically for Cichlids.
So the term Andinoacara literally means "Cichlids from Mountain Andes".

The species name coeruleopunctaus is derived from two latin words "caeruleus" and "punctatus" meaning sky blue (caeruleus) and spotted (punctatus). The name refers to attractive blue spots on the fish.

(Click for description of fish body parts)

Shape :-

Body shape is elongate , body depth is 47% of standard length.

Head length is 41% of SL and head depth is 66% of head length.

Nape is curved.

Snout is broad and moderately elevated, the profile of snout is straight.

Orbit(eyes) are in middle of length of head, in upper half of depth of head.

Inter orbital(between eyes) space is 15 % of SL and is wider than mouth.

Cleft of mouth is slightly oblique and does not reach the vertical line drawn from eye.
Fold of lower lip is interrupted in middle.

There are 8 series of scales between throat and root of ventral.

Dorsal fins has 15 spines and 10 rays. Dorsal fin spines are of moderate strength, they gradually increase in length posteriorly.

Middle of soft dorsal fin is produced and extends beyond caudal fin.

Anal fin is produced and has 3 spines, it extends beyond middle of caudal fin.

Caudal fin is rounded;

Pectoral fin is as long as head, reaching only to origin of anal.

There are three series of scales on cheek.

There are 26-27 scales in E1 row. E1 row is the scale row just above lower lateral line.


Coloration :-

The ground color of this species is beige to yellow.

A number of lines of sky-blue color, some of the lower of which are interrupted, obliquely cross the cheeks and pre-operculum in a posteriorly ascending direction.

There are five vertical bands on the sides and a barely recognizable spot on the caudal peduncle .

A coeruleopunctaus has a prominent black stripe below the eye.

Caudal and dorsal fin have blue / black points .

Distribution & Habitat:

It is distributed in Central America: Atlantic slope of Panama and Pacific slope of Costa Rica (Coto River)


In its native habitat A. coeruleopunctaus feeds on small insects and other carnivorous material.

In aquarium it should be given predominately carnivorous diet.

Tank Size:

A. coeruleopunctaus are medium sized fish and should be kept in a aquarium of about 300 liters with good filtration.

Water Parameters:

In its native habitat A. coeruleopunctaus inhabits stagnant waters as well as shallow waters of smaller rivers with organic material and low velocity. it is abundant in creeks with much organic matter but also resides in the shallow waters of rivers.

Tank Mates:

It is an aggressive species and can be kept with similar sized fish like Oscars etc.

Sexual Dimorphism:

There are no obvious external sex differences in fin length or intensity of colour pattern.


Andinoacara coeruleopunctaus is a monogamous substrate spawner and both sexes share in all the duties of brood care.

The female, however, is usually the more active partner as long as the pair cares for eggs or larvae, while the male defends the spawning territory against intruders.

Like most other open brooders these cichlids deposit their eggs on a horizontal surface.

At 27 °C hatching occurs about two days post spawning, and the fry attempt swimming seven days thereafter.

The male and female fish practice long-term bi parental defense of their mobile fry.







  Sandeep Raghuvanshi
Citations/Further Reading  

Theodore Gill:Annals of Lyceum of Natural History of New York Volume 6,1858,WILEY & HALSTED, 351 BROADWAY, ISBN :

Zunzana Musilova:Phylogeny of the Neotropical cichlid fish tribe Cichlasomatini (Teleostei: Cichlidae) based on morphological and molecular data, with the description of a new genus,2008,J Zool Syst Evol Res doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0469.2009.00528.x ISBN :