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Pterophyllum scalare  (Schultze, 1823)

Freshwater angelfish
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Pterophyllum scalare   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Pterophyllum scalare (Freshwater angelfish)
Pterophyllum scalare
Picture by Maceda, A.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Cichlidae (Cichlids) > Cichlasomatinae
Etymology: Pterophyllum: Greek, pteron, = fin, sail + Greek, phyllon = leaf; apparently in reference to the tall wide and triangular dorsal fin (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 13.   Tropical; 24°C - 30°C (Ref. 40602); 6°N - 10°S, 78°W - 51°W

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 7.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 36377)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Body compressed and disc-shaped; dorsal and anal spiny rays increasing in length from anterior to posterior part of the fin; first branched rays also very long; body height at anal fin level 1.07 to 1.29 times in SL; body color silvery with dark vertical bars (7 in juveniles, 4 in adults) (Ref. 35237).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

South America: Amazon River basin, in Peru, Colombia, and Brazil, along the Ucayali, Solimões and Amazon rivers; rivers of Amapá (Brazil), Rio Oyapock in French Guiana; Essequibo River in Guyana.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabit swamps or flooded grounds where the aquatic and riverine vegetation are dense and the water is either clear or silty. Its color is deeper in clear water (Ref. 35237). One of the most popular of all the tropical aquarium fish. Maximum length 15 cm TL (Ref. 7020). Aquarium keeping: in groups of 5 or more individuals; keep pairs in small tanks for breeding; minimum aquarium size 100 cm (Ref. 51539).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Males court females during the breeding season. Both male and female guard the eggs which are attached to the surface of aquatic vegetation in a nest area (Ref. 46591). During the entire brooding cycle, bonding of the original pair of parents is maintained complete with defence of each partner against aggression or potential rivals (Ref. 46591).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Kullander, Sven O. | Collaborators

Kullander, S.O., 2003. Cichlidae (Cichlids). p. 605-654. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil. (Ref. 36377)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Aquarium: highly commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Common names
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Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | Public aquariums | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02455 (0.00995 - 0.06053), b=3.05 (2.84 - 3.26), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.59 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm<1).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (11 of 100) .