Satanoperca pappaterra (Heckel, 1840)
Pantanal eartheater

Pantanal eartheater Paraguay River eartheater, 

Satanoperca pappaterra
photo by Sazima, I.

 Family:  Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Geophaginae
 Max. size:  19.2 cm SL (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  benthopelagic; pH range: 7; dH range: 10
 Distribution:  South America: Amazon River basin, in the Guaporé River in Brazil and Bolivia; Paraná River basin, in the Paraguay River drainage in Brazil and northern Paraguay (to the Aquidabán River).
 Biology:  Inhabits streams and lagoons with sandy to muddy bottom. Forages by plunging its protrusible mouth into the sandy or muddy bottom, filling it with sediment, and sorting out food inside the mouth. The bulk of the mouthful is expelled through the opercular openings and the mouth, producing a cloud of sediment (substrate sifting). This feeding mode leaves a series of pits and mounds on the bottom. Feeds on insect larvae, crustaceans, plant debris and loose scales (Ref. 40396). Discourages piranha attacks by watching the predator, a tactic used when 2-5 fish feed in groups and the individuals take turns as the "watchman". Confronts an approaching piranha by charging towards the predator with an open mouth and erect dorsal fin (Ref. 9080).
 IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated  (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:  Known from the Paraná River basin in Paraguay River drainage (Ref. 36377).

 Entered by: Casal, Christine Marie V. - 19.02.01
 Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 27.01.14
 Checked by: Kullander, Sven O. - 19.02.01

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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