Sven O Kullander


Apistogramma alacrina Kullander


Apistogramma alacrina Kullander, 2004. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, 15, p. 41, fig. 1 (Colombia: Departamento Meta: Río Guaviare drainage, Río Ariari, roadside pond on E side of road from Vista Hermosa to San Martín, 4.9 km N of Campo Alegre and 6.2 km N of Vista Hermosa).

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Apistogramma alacrina, UF 33670, adult male, 54.1 mm SL, from the Río Ariari. Photo © A. Hogeborn-Kullander.


Apistogramma alacrina is a moderately deep-bodied species with moderate sexual dimorphism. Males reach 54.1 mm, and females 29.3 mm SL in the wild. Males may reach 55 mm SL, and females 37 mm in aquaria, however. Both sexes have short dorsal-fin lappets and rounded caudal fin. Dark blotch at dorsal and ventral base of pectoral fin, more distinct in females, are unique to this species.

The wide lateral band is formed by dark blotches on scale margins of row 0 and E1 scales and consequently appears as a zig-zag band excep anteriorly where limited to row 0 scales in females and young males, or the scale spots restricted in size forming two separate spot rows in large males. The band may also display as a series of five short segments ssepparated by light interspaces. Preorbital, suborbital, supraorbita, and postorbital stripes present, but postorbital stripe may be restricted to dark blotches. Vertical bars usually indistinct. Three anterior dorsal fin membranes black.

Cephalic lateralis canal with 3 infraorbital postlachrymal and 5 dentary pores. Anteroventral third of cheek naked. Simple (anteriorly) and bicuspid (posteriorly) lower pharyngeal teeth. Counts: D. XVI.7-8, XVII.7, usually XVI.7; A. III.6-7, usually III.7; E1 row scales 22-23, usually 23; cheek scale series 2-4, usually 3; gill-rakers 1-4, usually 3 (Kullander, 2004).

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Apistogramma alacrina, female, paratype, CAS 50638, 29.3 mm SL, from Colombia, Río Orteguaza drainage between Tres Esquinas and Solano. Photo © S.O. Kullander.

Apistogramma alacrina agrees in shape and color pattern with a species known as 'Rotpunkt' in the aquarium hobby, and first reported by Kullander (1974) as A. sp. aff. taeniatum. Kowlowski (2002) described three different forms of 'Rotpunkt'. The geographic origin of the aquarium species remains uncertain, and geographic variation within A. alacrina also needs further analysis.


UF 33670. Adult male, 54.1 mm SL. Colombia: Departamento Meta: Río Guaviare drainage, Río Ariari, roadside pond on E side of road from Vista Hermosa to San Martín, 4.9 km N of Campo Alegre and 6.2 km N of Vista Hermosa. 10 Jan 1973. H.T. Boschung, J.D. Williams and C.R. Gilbert.


alacrina, in reference to the dark lining of the pectoral fin base, resembling dark hair (Latin crinis extending from an armpit (Latin ala, axilla). Adjective.

Geographical distribution

Upper Río Guaviare drainage (Orinoco River basin), close to Sierra de la Macarena, and Río Orteguaza drainage (Amazon River basin).
Lifemapper map

Natural history

To be added.

Local name

None recorded.


KOSLOWSKI, I. 2002. Die Buntbarsche Amerikas. Band 2: Apistogramma & Co. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart, 318 pp.
KULLANDER, S.O. 2004. Apistogramma alacrina, a new species of cichlid fish (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Colombia. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 15: 41-48.