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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Subfamily: Cichlasomatinae
Genus: Laetacara
S. O. Kullander, 1986
Type species
Acara flavilabris
Cope, 1870

Laetacara is a small genus of cichlids native to soft, acidic freshwater habitats in South America.[1] The genus is also collectively known as the smiling acaras.[1][2] The range of the genus extends from the upper Orinoco River in Venezuela to the Paraná River in Paraguay.[3] Like all cichlids, Laetacara species have well-developed brood care.

All members of the genus are monogamous, open spawning cichlids.[1] Most species are popular in the fishkeeping hobby and are frequently kept in aquariums.[3] Laetacara species are relatively small cichlids, growing from 5-10 centimetres (2-4 in) in length and are part of the group known to aquarists as dwarf cichlids.[1]


There are currently six recognized species in this genus:[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Loiselle, Paul V. (1995). The Cichlid Aquarium. Germany: Tetra Press. ISBN 1-56465-146-0. 
  2. ^ Kullander, S.O. (1998). "A phylogeny and classification of the South American Cichlidae (Teleostei: Perciformes)". In L.R. Malabarba; R.E. Reis; R.P. Vari; Z.M. Lucena; C.A.S. Lucena (eds.). Phylogeny and classification of neotropical fishes. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 461–498. ISBN 978-85-7430-035-1. 
  3. ^ a b Linke H, Staeck L (1994) American cichlids I: Dwarf Cichlids. A handbook for their identification, care and breeding. Tetra Press. Germany. ISBN 1-56465-168-1
  4. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Laetacara in FishBase. February 2013 version.