Monday, February 01, 2010

Ram jam - Ramirez's Little Eartheating Butterfly Cichlid (with the irregular lateral line)

A rare captive shot here, for the simple reason that the only way I can show you how spectacular the dwarf cichlids of south america are is through aquarium specimens and this is perhaps the most spectacular of them all:


Known to most aquarists simply as a "ram" this little guy (the picture you are looking at is almost twice life size). Originally it was scientifically named Apistogramma ramirezi, ramirezi signifying the collector Manuel Ramirez and Apistogramma meaning "irregular lateral line", it has also been known as Papiliochromis ramirezi (Ramirez's butterfly cichlid), Papilochromis ramirezi (Ramirez's butterfly cichlid wrongly spelt) and Microgeophagus ramirezi (Ramirez's little eartheater wrongly spelt again) but is correctly known, for now at least, as Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (Ramirez's little eartheater).

We'll stick with ram shall we? Like most in this group rams are characterful little devils. They mate, form pairs, defend territories, build nests, brood the eggs and defend their young......and all at about 2 inches long while looking like Faberge fish not living animals. Given correct conditions Rams (and other dwarf cichlids) are easy to look after and great fun to watch although the hustle and bustle of many community tanks can be a bit much for them and they much prefer a biotypic planted tank with tetras and small catfish from the region as chums. If you keep tropical fish and you haven't tried a south american dwarf cichlid give one a go. If you don't visit your local pet store and wonder.

1 comment:

eileeninmd said...

Awesome shot!