ANIMAL: Banded Cichlid Heros severus Type of Animal: Cichlid Habitat: River basins, river drainages Location(s): Upper Orinoco & upper Rio Negro basins of South America Appearance: Fish w/ iridescent sheen & uniquely compressed body/round shape, often confused w/ other members of Heros genus, males larger than females Food/Diet: Worms, aquatic crustaceans, vegetable matter, plant matter, insects, insect larvae, plankton Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in aquariums, aquaculture, & zoos Lifestyle: Schools of 2-10 fish w/ equal numbers of males & females. Breeding pairs stake out territories during spawning. Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Fry Group: School Weight: Male: 12.8 oz Female: 6.4 oz Gestation: 3-5 days Life Span: 6-10 years Body Length: Male: 10-12 in Female: 7-8 in Pairs become territorial during spawning. To sense “smells” in water, they suck water in & expel it right back out. Males darken/intensify color when breeding. Breeding pairs lock lips & tail slap before spawning. Females lay 100-1,000 eggs, which both parents defend. Once fry hatch, parents brood them in mouths. Once they reach free swimming stage, they leave parents mouth. Fry leave parents at 1.5 months. Eggs typically laid on flat or rocky surfaces. These fish are fairly easy to breed in captivity. Maturity reached at 1-2 years old. Fertilized eggs are brown & unfertilized eggs are white. Fun Fact(s): These fish do well in home aquariums. In aquarium trade, sometimes referred to as the “poor man’s discus” (another genus of cichlids from South America). These fish not as common in aquarium trade as once thought w/ many of these fish actually being the species Heros efasciatus (also called Common Severum & confusingly Banded Cichlid). Also called Severum, Convict Fish, Striped Cichlid, Sedate Cichlid, & Hero Cichlid.