Chiquitano Cichlid: Only in Bolivia

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The Chiquitano cichlid (Bujurquina oenolaemus) was discovered by Sven Kullander in 1987. This fish belongs to the Cichlidae family and to date it has only been sighted in the Chiquitano region of Bolivia, more specifically in the River Aguas Calientes, located 25 km from Roboré and where the only sighting and data for the species is known. It reaches close to 7 cm in length in its adult stage and is characterized by being able to withstand high temperatures (41ºC) in the river where it lives.

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Photo © María Elizabeth FARELL and Text WWFolio (WWF Bolivia) All Rights Reserved

Due to its size, it is considered a dwarf Cichlid of South America and feeds primarily on small snails by grinding the shell with special teeth located in the area of its pharynx. The genus (Bujurquina) makes reference to “bujurqui”, a native word by which Cichlids are referred to in Peru. The name of the species (Bujurquina oenolaemus) comes from the Greek language (oinos=wine and laimos=throat) making reference to the wine colour of its throat.

Wildlife in Bolivia

Under the initiative of, and in collaboration with WWF, a group of scientists from the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum is researching the biological diversity of the Upper Watershed of the Paraguay River. The information will soon be published in the book entitled “Biodiversity of the Pantanal”.

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