Astronotus Mikoljii

A new species of Oscar cichlid has been named after MIKOLJI: Astronotus mikoljii. Here you can find out what makes this fish so special.

A new species of Oscar cichlid from the Orinoco:  Astronotus Mikoljii

We are proud to announce that MIKOLJI has a new species of Oscar cichlid named after him.  It’s called Astronotus mikoljii. Here are some excerpts from the new scientific article describing the new species.

The specific name is given to honor Mr. Ivan Mikolji, Venezuelan explorer, artist, author, underwater photographer, and audiovisual producer, in recognition for being a tireless and enthusiastic diffuser of the biodiversity and natural history of freshwater fishes, conservation of aquatic ecosystems of Venezuela and Colombia, and for logistic support for this work. Since 2020, Ivan Mikolji has been recognized as Associate Researcher of the Museo de Historia Natural La Salle, from the Fundación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales, in Caracas, Venezuela.

To the authors 

The authors of this important work are Alfredo Perez Lozano, Oscar M. Lasso-Alcalá, Pedro Senna Bittencourt, Donald Charles Taphorn, Nayibe Perez, and Izeni Pires Farias.

MIKOLJI says:  “I wanted to thank the authors and many other great researchers involved in the scientific description of Astronotus mikoljii

Your incredible dedication to bring such valuable knowledge about our magnificent biodiversity is of great inspiration to everyone. You are my superheroes!”

Astronotus mikoljii

Want to know what it takes to describe a species?  Read this article wheere Oscar Lasso describes the challenges he faced when working on the description of Mikolji’s Oscar.

Where does Astronotus Mikoljii come from?

This new species of cichlid of genus Astronotus lives in the Orinoco River and Gulf of Paria basins in Venezuela and Colombia. Researchers from Brazil and Venezuela used an integrative taxonomy approach, combining morphometric, otolithometric, and molecular data, to describe it.

Astronotus mikoljii inhabits the middle and lower reaches of the Orinoco River and the Gulf of Paria basin, at altitudes up to 250 m a.s.l. It lives in lotic or lentic water bodies,large or small rivers, culverts, lagoons, and floodplains, with white, clear, and black waters.

In its first stages of development, it is associated with floating vegetation and semi-rooted plants formed mainly in grasses and water hyacinth. In the adult phase they are located in riparian zones, generally among grasses and sedges.

Known local names for Astronotus mikoljii include pavona, vieja, cupaneca, Oscar, mijsho, boisikuajaba, hácho, phadeewa, jadaewa, perewa, parawa, yawirra, kohukohurimï, kohokohorimï, owënawë kohoromï” in Venezuela, pavo real, carabazú, mojarra negra, eba, Itapukunda, and uan.

The new cichlid species is named in honor of Ivan Mikolji, “Venezuelan explorer, artist, author, underwater photographer, and audiovisual producer” for his efforts in showcasing the biodiversity of freshwater fishes and conservation of aquatic ecosystems in Venezuela and Colombia.

Read the scientific description

Use the following link to read the complete Astronotus Mikoljii (Teleostei, Cichlidae) scientific description on Reasearch Gate.

Or if you prefer, here is the original article as published in ZooKeys

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