Scientific Name: Symphysodon
Colour: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Black, Brown
Life Span: 8 - 15 years
Location: Brazil, Columbia and Peru
Predator: Fish, Turtles, Birds
Prey: Insects, Worms, Small fish
Size (L): 20cm - 25cm (8in - 10in)
Optimum pH Level: 5.5 - 6.5
Habitat: Deep, slow-moving waters
Fun Fact: One of the only schooling Cichlids!
Discus Classification and Evolution
The Discus is a species of tropical Cichlid, found in the Amazon basin of South America. There are three recognised sub-species of the Discus which are the Green Discus, the Blue Discus and the Brown Discus. The Discus was first described by Dr. Heckel in 1840 and despite variations in colour, all are similar in appearance but are found in different geographic locations. There is however some disagreement over the scientific names for each species, but many agree that most captive bred Discus are thought to have originated from these three sub-species.
Discus Anatomy and Appearance
The Discus is a medium sized Fish, with a round, flattened body and large extended fins which also add to it's disk-like shape (from which it get it's name). Discus have small mouths and small bright red eyes, and vary in colour depending on the species (either green, blue or brown in the wild, but there are many new variations found in aquariums around the world today such as red). The round body of the Discus also has nine dark, vertical stripes which are thought to be used both for camouflage (along with it's colour and flattened body) and to communicate within the school.