Three species of Symphysodon have different geographic distributions. S. aequifasciatus occurs in the Rio Solimões, Rio Amazonas and the Río Putumayo-Ica in Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Conversely distribution S. discussion seems limited to the downstream Abacaxis, Rio Negro and Trombetas river. S. tarzoo upstream of Manaus in the Amazon occurred west
Discus fish of the genus Symphysodon, which currently includes three species: common discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus), Heckel discus (Symphysodon discus), and Symphysodon tarzoo. However, further investigation published in August 2007 showed that the genus held the three species: S. aequifasciatus (the green discus), S. haraldi (discus blue / brown / common), and S. discus (Heckel discus).
Other species has been proposed, but data morphometric (unlike in Pterophyllum, the freshwater angelfish) varied as between individuals of the same location as in the whole range of all species of discus fish. S. tarzoo described in 1959 and applies to the western population of red-spotted. S. aequifasciatus and S. disc, meanwhile, seems to frequently hybridize in the wild or have drifted this, because they do not have the sorting of mitochondrial DNA ancestry but differ in color patterns and have different patterns of chromosomal translocations. S. discus occurs mainly in the Rio Negro. Is S. haraldi is different from S. aequifasciatus remains to be determined, if valid was spacious but it just might be a color morph.
Like cichlids of the genus Pterophyllum, all Symphysodon species have a laterally compressed body shape. In contrast to Pterophyllum, however, extended finnage Symphysodon not give a more rounded shape. It is this body shape from which their common name, "discussion", originated. Side of the fish are often patterned in shades of green, red, brown, and blue. Height and length of adult fish are both about 20-25 cm (8-10 in)
Another characteristic of Symphysodon species is care for the larvae. As for most cichlids, maternal care is highly developed with both parents care for the children. Additionally, adult discus produce a secretion through their skin, which are of larvae during their first few days. This behavior has also been observed for the species Uaru. However, when raised in captivity the larvae will tend to live off their parents secretion up to 2 weeks
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