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

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