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Mesonauta insignis 2.jpg
Mesonauta insignis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Subfamily: Cichlasomatinae
Tribe: Heroini
Genus: Mesonauta
Günther, 1867
Type species
Heros insignis
Heckel, 1840

Mesonauta, the flag cichlids, is a small genus of cichlids native to soft, acidic freshwater habitats in South America.[1][2] Mesonauta is part of the family Cichlidae and is included in subfamily Cichlasomatinae.[1][3]

Some species are popular in the fishkeeping hobby and are frequently kept in aquariums.[4] These have traditionally been referred to as M. festivus, but following taxonomic reviews of the genus in 1991 and 1998,[5][6] the species most often seen in the aquarium trade are M. guyanae, M. insignis and M. mirificus.[7]


There are currently six recognized species in this genus:[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Mesonauta in FishBase. February 2013 version.
  2. ^ Loiselle, Paul V. (1995). The Cichlid Aquarium. Germany: Tetra Press. ISBN 1-56465-146-0. 
  3. ^ 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. Phylogeny and classification of neotropical fishes. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 461–498. ISBN 978-85-7430-035-1. 
  4. ^ Linke H, Staeck L (1994) American cichlids II: Large Cichlids. A handbook for their identification, care and breeding. Tetra Press. Germany. ISBN 1-56465-169-X
  5. ^ Kullander, S.O.; Silfvergrip, A.M.C. (1991). "Review of the South American cichlid genus Mesonauta Günther (Teleostei, Cichlidae) with descriptions of two new species". Revue Suisse de Zoologie. 92 (2): 407–448. 
  6. ^ Schindler, I. (1998). "Mesonauta guyanae spec. nov., a new cichlid fish from the Guyana Shield, South America (Teleostei: Cichlidae)". Zeitschrift für Fischkunde. 5: 3–12. 
  7. ^ Kutty, V. (2017). "Is that a Festivum?". Retrieved 28 January 2017.