Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Cichlidae (Cichlids)

Genus/species: Satanoperca leucosticta

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: S. leucosticta has a streamlined body shape which is greenish-yellow to yellow-brown color. The head area from the mouth to the back of the gill plates are covered in numerous small whitish or iridescent bluish spots, often with a reddish background.

 Length up to 15 cm (6 inches)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in South America: Essequibo River in Guyana and Nickerie River in Suriname.

DIET IN THE WILD: Eartheater name derived from this fish’s almost constant digging in the sand for prey (insects, crustaceans). It scoops up sand swallows the food and ejects waste out of its gills.

REPRODUCTION: Fish in this genus are mouth brooders. The parents take turns brooding and spit the fry into the partner’s mouth when their shift is over.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Redlist; Not Evaluated.

REMARKS: Genus name translates as “eartheater.” This common name applies to many species. A small, but popular food fish. 


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