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Library > Cichlids > General Articles > Taxonomy of Cichlids >Sub Family cichlasomatiene > Genera Andinoacara > Andinoacara pulcher
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Species Andinoacara pulcher  
Scientific classification
Image Credit : wikipedia
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Perciformes
Suborder : Labroidei
Family : Cichlidae
Sub Family : Cichlasomatin
Genus : Andinoacara
Morphometric Data
Total Length (inches) 6.50
Standard Length (inches) 5.00
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 pulcher
Common Name : Blue Acara
Geo Origin : AMERICA, South America, Central and South America: Trinidad and Venezuela.
Diet : Carnivore
Gender Differences : Dimorphic
Breeding : Substrate Spawner
Temperament : Mildly aggressive
Con specific Temperament : Mildly aggressive
Standard Length : 5.0 "
Total Length : 6.5 "
Water Hardness: Medium to hard upto 25 dh
Difficulty ; 2


A pulcher is a medium sized fish its genus, it has a TL(Total length) of 6.5 ".

Andinoacara pulcher is distributed in Central and South America: Trinidad and Venezuela.

(Click for details of Cichlid taxonomy)

Andinoacara pulcher was first described by Gill in 1858 as Cychlasoma pulchrum .
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 upto into two clades, Andinoacara pulcher group and Andinoacara rivlatus 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".

A, pulcher is a very beautiful fish and the species name "pulcher" means beautiful in latin.

(Click for description of fish body parts)

Shape :-

Body shape of A. pulcher is streamlined compared to fish of A rivulatus group.

The body depth is 42% compared to average 47% of A rivulatus group.

The body is highest at the fifth and sixth dorsal spinous rays.

When viewed from the front the facial outline from dorsal to mouth is moderately curved.

Head :-

The head is considerably less than a quarter of the entire length,

Mouth :-

Mouth is terminal.

Scales :-

Eleven rows of scales obliquely cross the body at its greatest height.

The lateral line is interrupted as in all cichlids, the upper lateral runs through a row of 15 scales, while the lower lateral line is composed of 10 scales.


Dorsal Fin :-

Dorsal fin is placed at distant three-tenths of the entire length of body from the snout.

There are 13 spines in dorsal fin and 11 soft rays.

Anal Fin :-

Anal fin commencing under the first soft ray of the dorsal.
Anal fin has 3 spines which is a characteristic feature of this genus, there are 7 soft rays

Pectoral-fin : -

Pectoral fins occur in pair, they are asymmetric, with rounded dorsal tip.

Pelvic Fin: -

Pelvic fin is pointed and has 12 spines.

Caudal Fin :-

C. 16.



Coloration :-

The general color of the body and head is olive green.

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

There are distant and scattered spots on the operculum.

The body is crossed by about eight obscure bands. There are as many interrupted longitudinal stripes as there are rows of scales run along the sides, each stripe being formed by bars running through the middle of each scale which are abruptly discontinued a short distance from the posterior margins.

There is a distinct, subrotund black spot on each side, it is placed on the fourth and fifth rows of scales in an oblique line from the base of the dorsal fin between its eighth and eleventh spines:

Dots similar to those on the operculum are also more or less thickly distributed over the body.

There is a distinct infra-orbital black spot.

Distribution & Habitat:

It is widely distributed in Central and South America: Trinidad and Venezuela


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

In aquarium it should be given predominately carnivorous diet.

Tank Size:

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

Water Parameters:

These fish can be kept in soft to normal water with ph between 6.5 to 7.

Tank Mates:

A. pulcher is a eaceful for a cichlid of this size, and can be combined with other species that are too large to swallow.

Good tankmates include medium-sized characins, catfishes such as Corydoras spp.,
Loricariids and, in a big enough tank, other relatively peaceful cichlids.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Mature males develop slightly pointed dorsal and anal fins, and females generally have a more rounded appearance than males..


Andinoacara pulcher is a monogamous substrate spawner and that 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 :