The Severum, like the Discus, is a high-bodied and laterally compressed fish with pointed anal and dorsal fins. They are a moderately sized cichlid which reach around 7 3/4 inches (20 cm) in length and have a life span of about 10 years.
The original Severum Cichlid presents a greenish body color with a yellowish gold belly. Juveniles display eight dark and pronounced black vertical bands along their sides, though these bands generally fade as the the fish ages into maturity. It is these bands which gave rise to their common name 'Banded Cichlid'. They have an interesting 'stance' giving them the seeming appearance of always looking up. Several colors have been produced by tank breeding such as brown, green, gold, and turquoise.
The Golden Severum is one such captive bred color morph of the Severum Cichlid. They have the same deep oval shaped body but are pale yellow/gold in color. Their anal, pelvic and pectoral fins are all yellow, while the tail and dorsal fin tend to be a white with yellow specks. Their eyes are yellow as well.
All cichlids, along with some saltwater fish such as wrasses and parrotfish, share a common feature of a well-developed pharyngeal set of teeth located in the throat, along with their regular teeth. Cichlids have spiny rays in the back parts of the anal, dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fins to help discourage predators. The front part of these fins are soft and perfect for precise positions and effortless movements in the water as opposed to fast swimming.
Cichlids have one nostril on each side while other fish have 2 sets. To sense "smells" in the water, they suck water in and expel the water right back out after being "sampled" for a short or longer time, depending on how much the cichlid needs to "smell" the water. This feature is shared by saltwater damselfish and cichlids are thought to be closely related.
- Size of fish - inches: 7.9 inches (19.99 cm)
- Lifespan: 10 years