Geophagus abalios
Australian variant profiles:
(Click for Further Information)
Geophagus abalios (Australian Variant 1)
Geophagus sp. "Columbia/Venezuela" (Australian Variant 2)

Breeding Behaviour:
G. abalios have a striped caudal fin, a relatively large lateral spot (compared to G. altifrons), show a red iris and have an area of brighter red between the gill operculum and the lateral spot. The red horizontal lines also appear broken towards the anterior end.

All G. abalios are immediate ovophilous (picks up eggs immediately).
Comments: It appears there are two G. abalios variants present in Australia. Variant 1 was previously sold as G. dicrozoster and variant 2 was previously sold as G. cf. altifrons "Aripuana I" (this species closely resembles an abalios and not a cf. altifrons). There have also been fish that have been sold as G. abalios and are probably variant 1). The easiest way to distinguish between the two variants is by looking at the lateral barring patterns. Lateral bar pattern is not always visible, however under stress or low light levels the bars do become more visible.

Variant 1 has an easily identifiable pattern of double bars or split bars (as juveniles the bars are solid).
A quote from "Geophagus abalios is not always Geophagus abalios":
"The first three bars are most times cut in half by a row of scales the row is only one scale wide giving the impression of two thinner bars. (The first three bars “are dorso-ventrally bisected by a clearer area, giving the impression of two thinner bars (LOPEZ-FERNANDEZ & TAPHORN, 2004)."

Until late 2007 variant 2 has been incorrectly labelled in Australia and was subsequently changed to G. abalios "aka altifrons Aripuana I" or G. abalios "Australian variant 2". Weidner has recently (February 2008) uncovered a type very similar to G. abalios (which is usually found in the same shipments as well) and has named this new type G. sp. "Columbia/Venezuela." It is characterised by semi or part bars before and after the bar which runs through the lateral spot (See Geophagus abalios is not always Geophagus abalios translated version to come).
The lack of pictures showing lateral bar pattern was the main cause of not being able to identify this fish. In early 2009, while looking through some old ACE forum pictures I noticed the lateral bar pattern on G. abalios "Australian variant 2" juveniles matched this characteristic perfectly.

A quote from "Geophagus abalios is not always Geophagus abalios":
"Geophagus sp. “Colombia/Venezuela” are usually somewhat more pale in colouration than the “real” G. abalios and have larger scales."
One characteristic that was always quite evident in G. abalios "aka altifrons Aripuana I / Australian variant 2" was the lack of body colour.

A quote from Hernan Lopez Fernandez in "Phylogeny of Geophagine Cichlids from South America":
"An aquarium photograph in Weidner (2000: 148, Figure 2.1) of an unidentified Geophagus from Venezuela is undoubtedly of a mature adult of G. abalios."
The picture to which Fernandez is referring to looks to be Geophagus sp. “Colombia/Venezuela”.
International links: Cichlid-Forum Profile - G. abalios
FishBase Profile - G. abalios abalios.htm abalios Kolumbien.htm cf. abalios Tamanaco II.htm