Swainson, 1839. Nat. Hist.
2, pp. 173
(type by monotypy Lobotes
Heckel, 1840. Annln wien. Mus. Natges.
338 (type by subsequent designation by Eigenmann & Bray
(1894, p. 616), A. crassipinnis
Günther, 1862. Catal. Fish. Br.
4, p. 303 (type by monotypy Lobotes ocellatus
Astronotus ocellatus, from Spix & Agassiz
uniquely possess large
microbranchiospines bearing numerous spines on the exposed
surface, very different from those of other cichlids in which the
microbranchiospines are very small and with spines very few and
restricted to lateral margins. Only Cichla
has a few spines on the exposed
can be distinguished from the other
chaetobranchines by having African type lips instead of American
type lips, i.e., the upper and lower lip folds meet in the angle
of the mouth without the lower overlapping the upper. The lower
pharyngeal tooth plate is fairly stout. The cephalic lateralis
system includes 7 preopercular and 5 dentary openings. The
lachrymal bone has only 3 lateralis openings. There are 6
infraorbital bones, the 3rd with a middle foramen.
Astronotus species are readily identified by their
general appearance, especially the long soft dorsal and anal fins
and the heavy scaly sheath covering the soft unpaired fins. The
colour pattern is cryptic, with a seemingly irregular pattern of
light and dark blotches and stripes, and a prominent spot on the
caudal fin base, encircled with a red, yellow or silvery ring.
Juveniles are black with contrasting white stripes.
The largest specimen measured so far is a 240 mm SL specimen
of Astronotus crassipinnis.
- Astronotus crassipinnis
- Astronotus ocellatus
Identification guide to species
Only two valid species are recognised; which see for
refers to the ocellated spots on the dorsal fin
of A. ocellatus
, and is composed of the Greek words
, star, and notos
is the Tupi-Guarani name for cichlids,
incorporated in Brazilian Portuguese. Treated as masculine in
Portuguese and by the author, it retains its gender,
, from the Greek words hygros
, wet, soft,
flexible, and gonia
, angle, corner; apparently referring
to the largely cycloid body scales, hinted at by Günther.
The second word also might be gonos
, borth, offspring,
descendant, etc., but that interpretation seems far-fetched.
is restricted to tropical lowlands, mainly
floodplains and swamps, in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay,
French Guiana, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, including the
Amazon basin, the Orinoco basin, the northern Paraguay basin, and
the coast of Amapá and adjacent French Guiana.
EIGENMANN, C.H. & W.L. BRAY. 1894. A revision of
the American Cichlidae. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 7: 607-624.
GÜNTHER, A. 1862. Catalogue of the fishes in the British
Museum. Volume fourth London, 534 pp.
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. 1986. Cichlid fishes of the Amazon River drainage
of Peru. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, 431
SPIX, J.B. & L. AGASSIZ. 1829 [& 1831]. Selecta genera et
species piscium quos in itinere per Brasiliam annis
MDCCCXVII-MDCCCXX jussu et auspiciis Maximiliani Josephi I.
Bavariae regis augustissimi peracto collegit et pingendos curavit
Dr. J.B. de Spix Monachii, 138 pp. [1829, pp 1-82; 1831, pp.
SWAINSON, W. 1839. The natural history of fishes, amphibians &
reptiles, or monocardian animals, vol. II Lardner's Cabinet
Cyclopaedia, Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans, London, 452
pp. Relevant pages 173(146kb),
229 (153kb), 230 (168kb)