Mazarunia is a genus of the subfamily Geophagini, tribe Acarichthyini, most closely related to Crenicara and Dicrossus.





Sven O Kullander


Mazarunia Kullander


Mazarunia Kullander, 1990. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters 1, p. 4 (type by original designation Mazarunia mazarunii Kullander). — Feminine.

Mazarunia mazarunii, holotype, MHNG 1553.96, 53.4 mm SL. Photo © A. Kullander
Mazarunia mazarunii, holotype, MHNG 1553.96, 53.4 mm SL. Photo: A. Hogeborn-Kullander.


Mazarunia mazarunii is similar to Crenicara and Dicrossus in having a deep epibranchial 1 with widely divergent medial arms, a strongly decurved snout with marginal upper jaw elements partially shielded by the postlabial skin fold, and transversely oriented anterior lower jaw tooth rows. It differs from these genera especially in having smooth margined instead of serrated preopercular and pectoral girdle bones, a complete lateral lower lip fold, two lateral openings on the middle infraorbital bone, a toothed ceratobranchial 4, and loss of the next to posteriormost rather than one anterior dentary lateralis canal opening. It differs from Crenicara but not Dicrossus in lacking lateralis canal through the anguloarticular bone.

For field identification the small size (to about 50 mm), the colour pattern and the short, low vertical fins help to distinguish the species from all other cichlids. There is a series of 8 dark vertical markings, the anteriormost through the eye, the fourth from anteriormost bearing a large midlateral blotch; the fins are immaculate.

Only two preserved specimens are known, the holotype, a male, 53.4 mm SL, and a female, 47.5 mm SL, collected on the same occasion.

Included species

Mazarunia mazarunii Kullander, 1990
Mazarunia mazarunii Kullander, 1990. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters 1, p. 5, fig. 1 (Guyana: upper Mazaruni River near Kamarang).


MHNG 1553.96. A male, 53.4 mm SL. Guyana: upper Mazaruni River near Kamarang. 13 October 1976. Leg. P. de Rham.


Both the generic name, Mazarunia, of feminine gender, and the species name, mazarunii, a genitive in masculine form, are derived from the name of the Mazaruni River to which the monotypic genus appears restricted.

Geographical distribution

The type series was collected from the blackwater Mazaruni River, slightly upstream of Kamarang (at the mouth of the Kamarang River). The site is on the Guiana Plateau upstream of a series of cataracts in the Mazaruni River. The Mazarunia were collected together with two specimens of another cichlid species, Aequidens potaroensis, as well as with non-cichlids.


KULLANDER, S.O. 1990. Mazarunia mazarunii, a new genus and species from Guyana, South America Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters 1: 3-14.