Geophagus sp. Red Head Tapajos has a New Name

07 Sep, 2022

The "Red Head Tapajos" finally has a scientific name. Image credit: fivespots/Shutterstock
The “Red Head Tapajos” finally has a scientific name. Image credit: fivespots/Shutterstock

Geophagus sp. ‘Red Head Tapajos’ or ‘Tapajos Redhead’ is a popular South American eartheater cichlid for good reason. It’s modestly sized, relatively peaceful, and very colorful. It can make a great centerpiece species in an appropriate aquarium alongside shoals of tetras and other peaceful fishes. And now, after 31 years in the aquarium hobby, this fish has finally received a formal scientific name. 

Released as an accepted manuscript by the Journal of Fish Biology on September 4th, 2022, authors Junior Chuctaya, Pedro Nitschke, Marcelo C. Andrade, Juliana Wingert, and Luiz R. Malabarba have contributed a formal scientific description for the popular cichlid. The article is titled “A new species of Geophagus (Teleostei: Cichlidae): naming a cichlid species widely known in the Aquarium hobby as “Geophagus sp. Tapajos Red head“.

So what did scientists name it? Fish In The News revealed the all-important puzzle piece, left out of the title and abstract: “‘Tapajós Redhead’ is finally described as a new species, Geophagus pyrocephalus;” basically “fire head” in Latin.

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Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC & CORAL Magazines, and is a Sr. Editor and Publishing Partner with Aquatic Media Press, LLC & AMAZONAS Magazine. Matt has kept aquariums for 38 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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