Only two species of Astronotus are recognized at present. They are large food fishes occurring in the tropical rivers of South America.





Sven O Kullander


Astronotus crassipinnis (Heckel)


Acara crassipinnis Heckel, 1840. Annln wien. Mus. Natges. 2, p. 357 (...Rio-Paraguay... in Buchten... bei Villa Maria und Caiçara...Rio-Guaporè bei Matogrosso, im Rio-negro und im Rio-branco).


Kullander (1986) distinguished A. crassipinnis from A. ocellatus on colour pattern and meristics. Astronotus crassipinnis never shows ocellated spots along the base of the dorsal fin, which characterise western Amazonian A. ocellatus. The bar pattern is variable in both species, but A. crassipinnis is overall darker, and recognised in particular by having the anteriormost light vertical bar more anterior than in A. ocellatus (well in advance of the tip of the pectoral fin) and two more or less well-separated dark vertical bars in the position of the first light bar in A. ocellatus. Astronotus crassipinnis has modally D. XIII.21-22 in contrast to A. ocellatus which has modally XIII.20 and never 22 rays and nearly never 12 spines. Scale counts show considerable overlap, with a variation of 35-40 in A. crassipinnis and 33-39, mode 35 in A. ocellatus. (From Kullander, 1986.)

As explained by Kullander (1986), only two syntypes of A. crassipinnis have been located, both from the Guaporé. Other material was reported from the Rio Negro and Rio Branco and likely represents A. ocellatus or some undescribed species. Until a lectotype designation, recommending a Guaporean specimen, use of A. crassipinnis for the Paraguayan and Bolivian Amazonian species of Astronotus is provisional.


NMW 24261. 1, 208 mm SL. 'Rio Guapore'. No date. J. Natterer.
NMW 58776. 1, 185.9 mm SL 'Rio Guapore'. No date. J. Natterer.


crassipinnis is a Latin adjective formed from the Latin adjective crassus, -a, -um, fat, and pinna, fin.

Geographical distribution

Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru: in the upper Paraguay and the Bolivian Amazon including the Guaporé, Mamoré and Madre de Dios.

Natural history

No information available.

Local names

Not recorded.


HECKEL, J. 1840. Johann Natterer's neue Flussfische Brasilien's nach den Beobachtungen und Mittheilungen des Entdeckers beschrieben. (Erste Abtheilung, die Labroiden.) Annln wien. Mus. Natges. 2: 327-470.
KULLANDER, S.O. 1981. Cichlid fishes from the La Plata basin. Part I. Collections from Paraguay in the Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Genève. Revue suisse Zool. 88: 675-692.
KULLANDER, S.O. 1986. Cichlid fishes of the Amazon River drainage of Peru. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, 431 pp.