The Severum is an old favorite (first imported in 1909) that has held its own against strong competition from other species. The species occurs in three color forms: green, gold, and blue-green. The wild form is usually a brownish green color. About eight or nine vertical bands appear on the body. They are more pronounced in juveniles, but the band nearest the caudal fin retains its dark coloration.
Other common names
- Eyespot Cichlid, Banded Cichlid
- Northern South America, south to the Amazon basin.
- Some wild-caught specimens reported up to 12in (30cm), but usually smaller.
- Territorial but not overaggressive toward other medium-size or large tankmates, except during breeding.
- Wide range of foods accepted.
- Spacious, with substantial plants, shelters, and at least one flat-topped or smoothly rounded rock. Water chemistry not critical, but soft, acid, well-filtered water recommended. Temperature range: 73-77°F (23-25°C); slightly higher for breeding.
- Eggs are laid on a precleaned site and are defended—as are the fry by both parents. This species is sometimes reported as showing some signs of mouthbrooding.