The Festive Cichlid (Mesonauta festivus) is a tropical fish. It is also called the Flag Cichlid.
The Festive Cichlid is pale to medium yellow with a grey crown and a black eyeline that extends from its nose, across its eye, to its dorsal fin. It has yellowish eyes. It has a yellow paddle tail. Its underbelly is creamy-yellow.
It is a small fish that measures about 20 centimetres (8 inches) long.
The Festive Cichlid is native to the Amazon River basin, Peru, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Columbia.
It feeds on plants and small aquatic animals.
The Festive Cichlid lives in schools, but is usually found in pairs. Pairs will break away from the school to find a spot to lay eggs. Females lay eggs in a secluded place. The eggs hatch into small fish, called fry. When the fry is large enough, the family goes back to the school of cichlids for protection.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM