Oscar Fish Classification

Published: 27th March 2008
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Formally described in 1831 by the famous 19th century zoologist, Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (also founder of the Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology), the Oscar is also known as the genus Lobotes Occellatus.

Despite the name (Lobotes are entirely marine) the Oscar is a tropical fish, and fishes of this genus, known as tripletails (Lobotidae) are of no meaningful relation to cichlids. Agassiz is understood to have believed that his specimen had been collected from the Atlantic Ocean, and due to its similarity in appearance to the marine tripletails, he, not surprisingly, mistakenly placed the Oscar in the Lobotes genus. Ocellatus is Latin for spotted, referring to the spotted pattern on the body of this fish.

These days the Oscar is placed in the South American cichlid genus Astronotus, being derived from the Greek words "astra" meaning ray and "noton" meaning black. Synonyms include Acara compressus Cope 1872 and Hyposticta acara Cope 1878. Recent studies show that a number "oscars" are in South America, despite being lond considered a monotypic genus.

Shane Loggie


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