Tahuantinsuyoa is a genus of the subfamily Cichlasomatinae, tribe Cichlasomatini.





Sven O Kullander


Tahuantinsuyoa Kullander


Tahuantinsuyoa Kullander, 1986. Cichlids Amazon Peru, p. 308 (type by original designation Tahuantinsuyoa macantzatza Kullander).— Feminine.

Tahuantinsuyoa chipi. Paratype, NRM 12000, 70.4 mm SL. Photo © S.O. Kullander
Tahuantinsuyoa chipi. Paratype, NRM 12000, 70.4 mm SL. Photo: S.O. Kullander


South American cichlids of moderately small size (to about 80 mm SL), with four dentary lateralis pores, uniserial predorsal squamation, and dorsal margin of anterior ceratohyal with notch margined by laminar ledges. Similar to Bujurquina, distinguished from that genus by having only one instead of two palato-ethmoid articulations, by having the dorsal accessory caudal fin lateral line running between rays D2 and D3, or frequently between D3 and D4, instead of between rays D1 and D2, notched dorsal margin of distal postcleithrum and emphasized sigmoid posterior gill cover margin. Tahuantinsuyoa species develop a bone canal through the anterior ceratohyal for the hyoid artery and this may indicate closer relationship to the Pacific versant species 'Aequidens' rivulatus than to Amazonian cichlasomines.

Tahuantinsuyoa macantzatza. Photo © Uwe Werner
Tahuantinsuyoa macantzatza. Living specimen in aquarium. Photo: U. Werner.

Included species

Tahuantinsuyoa macantzatza Kullander, 1986
Tahuantinsuyoa chipi Kullander, 1991

Identification guide

Kullander, 1991, fig. 3, modified Tahuantinsuyoa chipi, known only from the Rio Pachitea drainage, can be distinguished from T. macantzatza, known only from the adjacent Rio Aguaytía drainage, by having a simple spot on the head at the posterodorsal margin of the orbit instead of an intensely pigmented caudad directed stripe from the orbit to the midline of the nape, and having the dark stripe below the eye of about uniform width instead of distinctly wider ventrally. (Drawing from Kullander, 1991, fig. 3, modified.)


Tahuantinsuyoa, from Tahuantinsuyo, the Quechua name for the Inca Empire. May be pronounced in English like Tah-wanteen-soo-you-ah.

Geographical distribution

Known only from the left bank Ucayali tributaries Aguaytía and Pachitea in the Peruvian Amazon drainage.

Natural history

Both species inhabit clear water rivers with sand and gravel bottom. Tahuantinsuyoa macantzatza is a biparental mouth brooder that deposits 30-60 eggs on a transportable substrate and mouth brood the larvae from hatching after about two days (Werner & Minde, 1990). This behaviour is similar to that of Bujurquina species. The reproductive behaviour of T. chipi is still unknown.

Local names

Not recorded.


KULLANDER, S.O. 1986. Cichlid fishes of the Amazon River drainage of Peru. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, 431 pp.
KULLANDER, S.O. 1991. Tahuantinsuyoa chipi, a new species of cichlid fish from the Rio Pachitea drainage in Peru. Cybium 15: 3-13.
WERNER U. & U. MINDE, 1990. Der Inka-Steinfisch, Tahuantinsuyoa macantzatza. Die Aquarien und Terrarien-Zeitschrift, 43:78-80.