Sven O Kullander


Aequidens michaeli Kullander


Aequidens michaeli Kullander, 1995. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters 6, p. 163, fig. 14 (Brazil, State of Pará, Rio Xingu drainage, Belo Monte, rocky pol near cachoeira).

Aequidens michaeli, holotype, adult female, 97.3 mm SL, MZUSP 32674. Photo © A. Kullander.
Aequidens michaeli. Holotype, adult female, 97.3 mm SL, MZUSP 32674. Photo: A. Kullander.


A moderately large (to ca 125 mm SL), relatively deep-bodied (depth 45-50% of SL) Aequidens species with triserial predorsal scale arrangement and E1 scales 24 (usually) or 25. It is most similar to A. epae, A. gerciliae and A. metae with which it shares presence of buccal stripes and black-margined dorsal scales, but readily distinguished from all those species by colour characteristics, most notably by having (1) dark vertical bars as components of the adult colour pattern, (2) lateral band distinctly expressed only anterior to the midlateral spot, (3) buccal pattern consisting of short stripes and spots extending onto the gill cover and chest, occasionally also the humeral region, (4) black, contrasted spot at middle of margin of each scale above the upper lateral line; and (5) lack of cheek spot. The modal number of dorsal fin spines, 14, distinguishes from most other Aequidens species, which have 15 spines. (From Kullander, 1995.)


MZUSP 32674. Adult female, 97.3 mm SL. Brazil, State of Pará, Rio Xingu drainage, Belo Monte, rocky pool near cachoeira. 26 September 1983. Michael Goulding.


Named michaeli for its first collector, Michael Goulding, a distinguished student of Amazonian fishes.

Geographical distribution

Known only from near Altamira and Belo Monte on the lower Rio Xingu.
Lifemapper map

Natural history

One Altamira locality, Balneario Pedral, is described and figured by Schliewen & Stawikowski (1989), and also illustrated in Stawikowski (1991). Both Goulding and Stawikowski collected the species in rocky pools associated with rapids.

The species is being kept as aquarium fish in Europe and was reported as a biparental substrate brooder by Stawikowski (1991).

Local name

Not recorded.


KULLANDER, S.O. 1995. Three new cichlid species from southern Amazonia: Aequidens gerciliae, A. epae and A. michaeli. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 6:149-170.
SCHLIEWEN, U. & R. STAWIKOWSKI. 1989. Teleocichla. DATZ 42: 227-231.
STAWIKOWSKI, R. 1991. Aquarienbeobachtungen an Aequidens sp. 'Xingú'. DCG-Info 22:12-118.