No such thing as “Curipera”…

Notice: Undefined index: use_custom_image in /home/cefishes/public_html/wp-content/plugins/custom-about-author/display-about-author-block.php on line 134

There are many misidentifications of fishes in the aquarium hobby and particularly in the Discus fish world this does tend to be quite common. In this short article I will try to eliminate some of the false names erroneously bestowed upon these poor souls and provide more their correct alternatives. Fjallraven Kanken Sale

“Curipera” Discus

The first name which I want to help hobbyists correctly identify belongs to the wild Symphysodon haraldi (discus fish) known as the “Curipera” or sometimes even “Curipeua”. These originate from the wider Alenquer region in the Brazilian amazon state of Para. Wild discus fish which reach the hobby tend to not only be named by their taxonomic identities (e.g. genus & species) by collectors and exporters, because one species can inhabit vast areas and be incredibly diverse, so often they are further “classified” by identifying the specific river or lake which their habitats are linked to. In this case, the Discus fish of the correctly spelled, Lago Cuipeuá are identified as such because their biotopes are found in and around the Cuipeuá Lake, so in short, it makes no sense to call them Curipera since Curipera doesn’t exist. However, to make things a little more complicated there is a village a long way away along the Rio Araça (a tributary of the Rio Negro) near to Barcelos known as Curupira (and another on the east coast near Fortaleza!). chaussure asics But enough digression, Cuipeuá it is… and that’s final! It is simply just the name of the lake they are collected from.  

Lago Cuipeuá Discus Fish Biotope by customer N. Rezeq (Greece) 


“Barra Mansa” Discus

Another Discus I.D. which isn’t truly correct is the Discus known as “Barra Mansa”. The term Barra Mansa is the name of a village along the Rio Curuá, no discus fish are found in that particular area however, in the bays of the lower Curuá River, discus biotopes do exist and host some very beautiful variants like those shown below. Once again, just to make it even more confusing there is another Curua River in the same state about 250 miles south, a tributary of the Iriri River, which is in turn a tributary of the notorious Xingu River; that brings us nicely to our next subject!

Rio Curuá Discus Biotope created by customer P. Kotsiropoulos | Photo N. Fjallraven Kanken Big Baviolis


Xingú, Tocantins or Arapiuns?

Another often misidentified discus fish is one which actually very uncommon in the aquarium hobby, but many people have been under the impression that they have owned them. The “imposter” fishes actually bare resemblance to the Xingu discus, but they have some key morphological differences. 

Xingú Discus from the lower Xingú River
1: Xingu discus only have blue pigment around their eye and across the front of the forehead between the eyes, there are no iridescent markings anywhere else on the head or body – other than in the edges of the dorsal, anal and ventral fins. They are known as the most yellow / golden of all of the wild discus forms and said to be among those with the best round body shapes.

Tocantins Discus usually from Cametá along the Tocantins River

2: Tocantins (Cametá) discus are slightly less round in shape and usually have quite long spiny dorsal rays (the hard rays at the beginning of the dorsal fin); in this sense they’re quite similar to some Heckel variants which share this trait. Tocantins (Cametá) discus also have a brown colouring to their anal fin which is absent in the Xingu Discus and their iridiscent markings extend onto the body above the eye and into the anal region.

Arapiuns Discus from the Arapiuns River, a tributary of the Rio Tapajos

3: Arapiuns discus can often have a pale almost peach-coloured base quite reminiscent of the base colour of some Green Discus, but this varies. nike air max thea They tend to have the capacity to have the most iridescent markings on the body, in comparison to the other two types discussed. On the whole they also have a less prominent halo around the dorsal and anal fins, in Xingu discus this is especially black in colour with intense blue pigmentation throughout. The discus of the Xingú region really are something special (I write from a moderately biased view, as readers of my personal blogs will know), but one scientific publication even identified them as a new species in their own right; the conclusion was based on some unique genetic loci (although, personally I’m not convinced).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *