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The Severum, scientifically known as Heros efasciatus, is a highly popular species in the aquarium hobby. It is commonly referred to as the Green Severum due to its vibrant green coloration. This species has captured the attention of aquarium enthusiasts worldwide, thanks to its stunning appearance and intriguing behavior.

Studying and understanding the characteristics and behavior of Severum is of great significance for aquarium enthusiasts. By delving into the intricacies of this species, hobbyists can provide the best possible care and create suitable environments in captivity. Furthermore, gaining knowledge about Severum contributes to the overall understanding of fish biology and ecology.

Taxonomy and Classification

Severum, scientifically known as Heros efasciatus, belongs to the family Cichlidae and the genus Heros. This classification places Severum within the larger group of cichlid fishes, which are renowned for their vibrant colors, diverse behaviors, and popularity among aquarium enthusiasts.

The scientific name, Heros efasciatus, holds significant meaning in understanding the species. The genus name “Heros” is derived from the Greek word “heros,” meaning hero or warrior, which aptly describes the bold and robust nature of Severum. The species name “efasciatus” refers to the distinctive vertical bands or stripes that adorn the body of Severum, adding to its visual appeal.

Within the species Heros efasciatus, there are several notable subspecies and color variants that have captivated the attention of aquarium enthusiasts. One such variation is the turquoise Severum, characterized by its striking blue-green coloration that resembles the tropical waters of the Amazon basin. Another variation is the rotkeil Severum, which displays a vibrant red coloration on its lower body and fins, contrasting beautifully with its green upper body.

These subspecies and color variants not only add to the aesthetic appeal of Severum but also provide an opportunity for breeders and hobbyists to selectively breed and enhance specific traits. This has led to the availability of a wide range of color morphs in the aquarium trade, further increasing the popularity of Severum among fish enthusiasts.

The taxonomic classification of Severum not only provides a systematic framework for understanding its place within the animal kingdom but also highlights its unique characteristics and adaptations. By delving into the taxonomy and classification of Severum, we gain a deeper appreciation for its evolutionary history and ecological significance.

In conclusion, Severum, scientifically known as Heros efasciatus, belongs to the family Cichlidae and the genus Heros. Its scientific name holds meaning that reflects its bold and robust nature, while its subspecies and color variants add to its visual appeal. Understanding the taxonomy and classification of Severum enhances our knowledge of this remarkable species and its significance in the world of aquarium fishkeeping.

Physical Characteristics

Detailed description of the appearance of Severum

Severum, scientifically known as Heros efasciatus, is a visually striking species that captivates aquarium enthusiasts with its unique physical characteristics. These fish have a robust and laterally compressed body shape, which gives them a distinctive appearance in the aquarium. Their bodies are moderately elongated, with a slightly arched back and a rounded belly.

The fins of Severum are another noteworthy feature. They have long, flowing dorsal and anal fins that add elegance to their overall appearance. The dorsal fin is positioned towards the back of the body and extends along the upper portion of the fish. The anal fin, on the other hand, is located towards the bottom of the body and runs parallel to the anal opening.

Discussion of their size, shape, and color variations

Severum exhibit a considerable size range, with adult individuals typically reaching an average length of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters). However, under optimal conditions, some specimens have been known to grow even larger, reaching lengths of up to 10 inches (25 centimeters). It is important to note that the size of Severum can vary depending on factors such as genetics, diet, and environmental conditions.

In addition to their size, Severum also display variations in body shape. While the general body structure remains consistent, some individuals may have a more elongated shape, while others may appear slightly shorter and stockier. These variations in body shape contribute to the overall diversity and visual appeal of the species.

One of the most captivating aspects of Severum is their stunning color variations. The most commonly encountered color variant is the green Severum, which displays a vibrant green hue on its body. However, there are also other captivating color variations available in the aquarium trade. The turquoise Severum, as the name suggests, exhibits a mesmerizing turquoise coloration that adds a touch of elegance to any aquarium. Another popular variant is the rotkeil Severum, which features a reddish-brown body color with intricate patterns, creating a visually striking contrast.

Examination of their unique features, such as their facial expressions and body patterns

Severum possess several unique features that set them apart from other fish species. One of the most notable aspects is their facial expressions. These fish have large, expressive eyes that seem to convey a sense of curiosity and intelligence. Their eyes are positioned on the sides of their head, allowing them to have a wide field of vision and observe their surroundings with great precision.

Furthermore, Severum exhibit intricate body patterns that add to their overall allure. The green Severum, for instance, typically displays a series of horizontal black bands that run across its body. These bands create a visually striking contrast against the vibrant green coloration, further enhancing the fish’s beauty. The turquoise Severum, on the other hand, may exhibit a more uniform coloration without distinct patterns, allowing the mesmerizing turquoise hue to take center stage.

These unique facial expressions and body patterns contribute to the fascination and appeal of Severum as aquarium fish. Their ability to communicate through subtle facial expressions and their visually captivating body patterns make them a captivating species to observe and appreciate.

In conclusion, Severum possess a range of physical characteristics that make them a visually captivating species in the aquarium hobby. Their robust body shape, flowing fins, and striking color variations, such as the green, turquoise, and rotkeil Severum, contribute to their overall beauty. Additionally, their expressive facial expressions and intricate body patterns add depth and intrigue to their appearance. By understanding and appreciating the physical characteristics of Severum, aquarium enthusiasts can truly appreciate the unique beauty and charm of these remarkable fish.

Natural Habitat

Severum, scientifically known as Heros efasciatus, is a species of fish that is naturally found in the Amazon basin and its surrounding regions. These regions include countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Within this vast geographical area, Severum can be found inhabiting various types of aquatic environments, including rivers, streams, and lakes.

In their natural habitat, Severum prefer slow-moving rivers and calm lakes with dense vegetation and ample hiding places. They are often found in areas with submerged tree roots, fallen branches, and aquatic plants, which provide them with shelter and protection. These fish are known to be adaptable and can survive in a range of water conditions, including both acidic and alkaline pH levels.

The Amazon basin, with its extensive network of rivers and tributaries, offers a diverse range of habitats for Severum. They can be found in both blackwater and clearwater environments, depending on the specific region they inhabit. Blackwater rivers are characterized by their dark, tea-colored appearance, which is caused by the leaching of tannins from decaying vegetation. These rivers have low mineral content and are typically acidic. On the other hand, clearwater rivers have higher mineral content and are usually neutral to slightly acidic in pH.

Severum are well-adapted to the unique conditions of their natural habitat. They have a lateral compression body shape, which allows them to navigate through dense vegetation and narrow spaces. Their fins are well-developed, enabling them to maneuver effectively in the water and maintain stability. Additionally, their coloration and body patterns provide excellent camouflage, allowing them to blend seamlessly with their surroundings and avoid predation.

In terms of water parameters, Severum prefer temperatures ranging from 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 28 degrees Celsius). The pH level should ideally be between 6.0 and 7.5, with a slightly acidic to neutral range. It is important to note that maintaining stable water conditions is crucial for the health and well-being of Severum in captivity.

When recreating the natural habitat of Severum in an aquarium setting, it is essential to provide them with ample hiding places, such as caves, driftwood, and live plants. These elements not only mimic their natural environment but also serve as territorial boundaries and breeding sites. It is recommended to use a substrate that resembles the sandy or gravelly bottom of their natural habitat.

In conclusion, Severum are native to the Amazon basin and its surrounding regions, where they inhabit a variety of aquatic environments. Their ability to adapt to different water conditions and their unique physical characteristics make them well-suited for their natural habitat. Understanding their natural habitat is crucial for successfully keeping Severum in captivity and ensuring their well-being. By recreating their preferred water parameters and providing suitable hiding places, aquarium enthusiasts can create an environment that closely resembles the natural habitat of these fascinating fish.


Exploration of the social behavior of Severum in the wild

Severum, also known as Green Severum or Heros efasciatus, exhibit fascinating social behavior in their natural habitat. These fish form small schools or groups, typically led by a dominant male and accompanied by several females. This social structure allows them to establish a hierarchy and maintain order within their group.

Within these schools, Severum engage in various social interactions, including courtship displays, territorial defense, and cooperative hunting. The dominant male takes on the role of protecting the group and defending their territory against intruders. This behavior is particularly prominent during the breeding season when Severum become more territorial and aggressive.

Discussion of their feeding habits, including their omnivorous diet

Severum are omnivorous fish, consuming both plant matter and small prey. In their natural habitat, they have a diverse diet consisting of algae, aquatic plants, insects, small crustaceans, and even small fish. This varied diet ensures that Severum obtain the necessary nutrients for their growth and overall health.

Their feeding behavior is characterized by a combination of grazing and hunting. They use their specialized teeth to scrape algae and plant matter off rocks and submerged surfaces. Additionally, they actively search for small invertebrates and insect larvae, relying on their keen eyesight and acute sense of smell to locate their prey.

Examination of their territoriality and aggression towards other fish species

Severum are known for their territorial behavior, especially during the breeding season. They establish and defend territories, which often include a specific area within their natural habitat. This territoriality is most pronounced in males, who vigorously defend their chosen spawning site and potential mates.

During territorial disputes, Severum display aggressive behaviors such as fin flaring, body posturing, and chasing intruders away. These displays are intended to intimidate rivals and establish dominance. However, it is important to note that Severum are generally peaceful towards other fish species, especially when kept in a well-planned community aquarium with appropriate tank mates.

Analysis of their ability to communicate and display complex behaviors

Severum possess a remarkable ability to communicate and display complex behaviors. They use a combination of visual cues, body language, and chemical signals to communicate with each other and other fish species. For example, during courtship, males may exhibit vibrant coloration and perform elaborate fin displays to attract females.

In addition to visual displays, Severum also communicate through body movements and postures. They can raise their dorsal fins, flare their gill covers, and even change their body shape to convey different messages to other fish. These behaviors play a crucial role in establishing social hierarchies, courtship rituals, and territorial boundaries.

Furthermore, Severum are known to exhibit intelligent behaviors, such as problem-solving and learning. They can quickly adapt to changes in their environment and learn to recognize their owners, making them popular pets among aquarium enthusiasts.

Overall, the social behavior, feeding habits, territoriality, and communication skills of Severum make them a captivating species to observe and study. Their ability to interact with their environment and display complex behaviors adds to their appeal as aquarium fish. Understanding and appreciating these behaviors can enhance our enjoyment of keeping Severum in captivity and contribute to their overall well-being.

Breeding Habits

Overview of the Reproductive Cycle of Severum

The reproductive cycle of Severum is an intriguing process that showcases their unique breeding habits. Like many cichlid species, Severum exhibit complex behaviors and rituals during the mating process. Understanding their reproductive cycle is crucial for aquarium enthusiasts who wish to breed these beautiful fish in captivity.

Severum typically reach sexual maturity at around one to two years of age, although this can vary depending on various factors such as diet and environmental conditions. Once they have reached maturity, Severum will begin to exhibit courtship behaviors and actively seek out potential mates.

Description of their Courtship and Mating Behaviors

During the courtship phase, Severum engage in a series of elaborate behaviors to attract and impress their potential partners. Males often display vibrant colors, particularly on their fins, to signal their readiness to mate. They may also engage in fin flaring and body shaking to display dominance and assert their suitability as a mate.

Females, on the other hand, play a more passive role in the courtship process. They will closely observe the male’s displays and evaluate his fitness as a potential partner. Once a female has chosen a mate, the pair will engage in a unique bonding ritual known as “jaw-locking.” This involves the male and female locking their jaws together in a show of unity and commitment.

Once the pair has formed a bond, they will select a suitable location to lay their eggs. Severum are known to be substrate spawners, meaning they lay their eggs on a flat surface such as rocks, logs, or even the aquarium glass. The female will lay a batch of eggs, and the male will fertilize them immediately.

Discussion of their Parental Care and Protection of Eggs and Fry

One of the most fascinating aspects of Severum breeding is their exceptional parental care. Both the male and female take an active role in protecting and caring for their eggs and fry. After fertilization, the pair will diligently guard the eggs, fanning them with their fins to ensure proper oxygenation and prevent fungal growth.

The parents will also aggressively defend the breeding site from potential threats, such as other fish or intruders. This protective behavior continues even after the eggs have hatched, as the parents will guard and guide the fry, providing them with shelter and food.

Severum parents exhibit remarkable dedication to their offspring, often sacrificing their own well-being to ensure the survival of their fry. This level of parental care is not only fascinating to observe but also serves as a testament to the intelligence and nurturing instincts of these remarkable fish.

Examination of the Challenges and Considerations for Breeding Severum in Captivity

Breeding Severum in captivity can be a rewarding but challenging endeavor. To successfully breed Severum, there are several important considerations and tips to keep in mind:

  1. Tank setup: Provide a spacious tank with ample hiding places and suitable breeding surfaces, such as flat rocks or PVC pipes.
  2. Water parameters: Maintain stable water conditions with a temperature range of 78-84°F (25-29°C) and a pH level around 6.0-7.5. Regular water changes and proper filtration are essential for optimal breeding conditions.
  3. Diet: Offer a varied diet consisting of high-quality pellets, live or frozen foods, and occasional vegetable matter. A well-balanced diet will ensure the health and reproductive success of the breeding pair.
  4. Compatibility: Ensure that the breeding pair is compatible and that there are no aggressive tank mates that may harm the eggs or fry. It is best to keep Severum in a species-only tank during the breeding process.
  5. Patience and observation: Breeding Severum can take time, and it is important to be patient and observe the behavior of the pair closely. Provide a stress-free environment and allow the pair to establish their bond naturally.

By following these considerations and providing the ideal conditions, aquarium enthusiasts can increase their chances of successfully breeding Severum in captivity and witnessing the remarkable journey of courtship, egg-laying, and parental care.

In conclusion, the breeding habits of Severum offer a captivating glimpse into the complex world of these beautiful fish. From their courtship rituals to their exceptional parental care, Severum showcase a level of intelligence and dedication that is truly remarkable. By understanding and appreciating their breeding habits, aquarium enthusiasts can gain a deeper appreciation for the fascinating nature of these fish and contribute to their conservation efforts.

Popularity in the Aquarium Trade

Severum, also known as Heros efasciatus or Green Severum, has gained immense popularity among aquarium enthusiasts. This section will delve into the reasons why Severum is sought after, its compatibility with other fish species, care requirements, and any selectively bred forms or color variations available in the aquarium trade.

Severum’s popularity can be attributed to its appealing characteristics and behavior. One of the primary reasons is its stunning appearance. With its vibrant green coloration, Severum adds a splash of color to any aquarium. Moreover, its body shape and fin structure are aesthetically pleasing, making it a visually striking fish.

Another factor contributing to Severum’s popularity is its peaceful nature. Unlike some other cichlid species known for their aggression, Severum is generally peaceful and can coexist with a variety of fish species in a community tank. This makes it an excellent choice for aquarists looking to create a harmonious and diverse aquarium ecosystem.

Examination of their compatibility with other fish species in a community tank

Severum’s peaceful temperament makes it compatible with a wide range of fish species in a community tank. It can peacefully coexist with other non-aggressive fish, such as tetras, rasboras, and peaceful catfish species. However, caution should be exercised when selecting tankmates, as Severum can display territorial behavior during breeding periods.

It is important to provide ample hiding places and territories within the aquarium to minimize any potential aggression. This can be achieved by incorporating rocks, driftwood, and plants to create natural boundaries and hiding spots for the fish.

Overview of the care requirements for keeping Severum in captivity

To ensure the well-being of Severum in captivity, it is crucial to provide suitable care and maintain optimal tank conditions. Severum thrives in a spacious aquarium with a minimum capacity of 55 gallons. The tank should be well-filtered to maintain excellent water quality, as Severum is sensitive to poor water conditions.

In terms of water parameters, Severum prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH range of 6.0-7.5 and a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C). It is essential to regularly monitor and maintain these parameters to create a healthy and stable environment for the fish.

Severum is an omnivorous species, and its diet should consist of a balanced mix of high-quality pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods. This can include brine shrimp, bloodworms, and vegetable matter. Offering a varied diet ensures that Severum receives all the necessary nutrients for optimal health and vibrant coloration.

Mention of any color variations or selectively bred forms of Severum available in the aquarium trade

In addition to the natural green coloration, Severum is available in various selectively bred forms and color variations. One popular variation is the turquoise Severum, which displays a striking blue-green coloration. This variant adds a unique and captivating element to any aquarium.

Furthermore, the rotkeil Severum, also known as the red-spotted Severum, features a reddish-brown body with vibrant red spots. This color variation is highly sought after by aquarists looking to add a touch of warmth and vibrancy to their aquarium.

These selectively bred forms and color variations have become increasingly popular in the aquarium trade due to their distinct and eye-catching appearances. They offer aquarists the opportunity to create visually stunning and diverse aquarium displays.

In conclusion, Severum’s popularity in the aquarium trade can be attributed to its stunning appearance, peaceful temperament, compatibility with other fish species, and availability in selectively bred forms and color variations. By providing suitable care and maintaining optimal tank conditions, aquarists can enjoy the beauty and charm of Severum in their home aquariums.

Conservation Status

Evaluation of the conservation status of Severum in their natural habitat

The conservation status of Severum in their natural habitat is a matter of concern. The species, Heros efasciatus, is native to the Amazon basin in South America, where it inhabits rivers, streams, and lakes. However, due to various threats, Severum populations have experienced a decline in recent years.

Discussion of threats and challenges faced by Severum in the wild

One of the primary threats to Severum populations is habitat destruction. Deforestation and the expansion of human activities, such as agriculture and logging, have led to the degradation and loss of their natural habitats. This loss of suitable habitats has resulted in a decrease in the available resources for Severum, including food and shelter.

Overfishing is another significant challenge faced by Severum in the wild. The species is highly sought after in the aquarium trade due to its attractive appearance and peaceful nature. This demand has led to unsustainable harvesting practices, where large numbers of Severum are captured from their natural habitats. This overexploitation puts additional pressure on wild populations and disrupts the delicate balance of ecosystems.

Mention of conservation efforts and initiatives aimed at protecting Severum populations

Recognizing the need to protect Severum populations, several conservation efforts and initiatives have been implemented. One such initiative is the establishment of protected areas within the Amazon basin, where Severum habitats are preserved and managed sustainably. These protected areas help safeguard the natural habitats of Severum and ensure the long-term survival of the species.

Furthermore, educational programs and awareness campaigns have been launched to promote responsible aquarium keeping practices. By educating aquarium enthusiasts about the importance of sustainable sourcing and captive breeding, these initiatives aim to reduce the demand for wild-caught Severum and encourage the conservation of their natural habitats.

In addition, collaborations between conservation organizations, local communities, and government bodies have been formed to develop and implement conservation strategies for Severum. These strategies include monitoring wild populations, conducting research on their biology and ecology, and implementing measures to mitigate the threats they face.

It is crucial to note that the success of these conservation efforts depends on the active participation and support of all stakeholders, including aquarium hobbyists, fish breeders, and policymakers. By working together, we can ensure the long-term survival of Severum in their natural habitats and preserve the beauty and biodiversity of the Amazon basin.


In conclusion, Severum, also known as Heros efasciatus, is a fascinating species that captivates aquarium enthusiasts with its physical characteristics, behavior, and unique color variations. However, it is essential to recognize the conservation challenges faced by Severum in their natural habitats.

Habitat destruction and overfishing pose significant threats to Severum populations, endangering their long-term survival. Conservation efforts, such as the establishment of protected areas, educational programs, and collaborative initiatives, are crucial for the preservation of Severum and their habitats.

To ensure the continued existence of this remarkable species, further research and conservation measures are necessary. By promoting sustainable aquarium practices, supporting captive breeding programs, and protecting their natural habitats, we can contribute to the conservation of Severum and the preservation of the Amazon basin’s biodiversity.

Let us appreciate the beauty of Severum not only in our aquariums but also in their natural habitats, where they play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of the Amazon basin. Together, let us strive to protect and conserve this remarkable species for future generations to enjoy.


In conclusion, the Severum (Heros efasciatus) species is a fascinating and captivating fish that has gained popularity among aquarium enthusiasts. Throughout this article, we have explored various aspects of the Severum, including their physical characteristics, natural habitat, behavior, breeding habits, popularity in the aquarium trade, and conservation status.

Severum, also known as Green Severum, stands out due to its unique physical appearance. They have a distinct body shape, with a laterally compressed body and elongated fins. Adults can reach an average length of 6-8 inches. Additionally, Severum exhibits various color variations, including green, turquoise, and rotkeil Severum, each adding a touch of vibrancy to any aquarium.

In their natural habitat, Severum can be found in the Amazon basin and other regions of South America. They prefer slow-moving rivers, streams, and calm lakes as their habitats. It is important to note that Severum has specific water parameter requirements, including an ideal temperature range of 75-82°F and a pH range of 6.0-7.5. Maintaining these conditions is crucial for their well-being in captivity.

Behaviorally, Severum is known for its social behavior and ability to interact with other fish species. They display schooling behavior and can coexist peacefully with compatible tank mates. However, during breeding, Severum can become territorial and exhibit aggression towards other fish species. Understanding their behavior is essential for creating a harmonious community tank.

Breeding Severum in captivity can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful consideration and preparation. Severum goes through a reproductive cycle, which involves courtship and mating behaviors. Once the eggs are laid, Severum parents exhibit remarkable parental care, protecting and nurturing their eggs and fry. Providing the right conditions and diet is crucial for successful breeding.

Severum’s popularity in the aquarium trade can be attributed to their appealing characteristics and behavior. Their vibrant colors and unique body patterns make them an attractive choice for aquarium enthusiasts. However, it is important to ensure their compatibility with other fish species and provide the appropriate care requirements, including tank setup, filtration, and water parameters.

While Severum is sought after in the aquarium trade, their conservation status in the wild is a matter of concern. Severum populations face threats such as habitat destruction and overfishing. Conservation efforts and initiatives are crucial to protect their natural habitat and ensure their long-term survival. Ongoing research and conservation measures are needed to safeguard Severum populations and their ecosystems.

In conclusion, Severum is a species that combines beauty, behavior, and conservation significance. Their physical characteristics, behavior, breeding habits, popularity in the aquarium trade, and conservation status all contribute to their allure. As aquarium enthusiasts, it is our responsibility to appreciate and protect this remarkable species. By continuing to study and understand Severum, we can contribute to their conservation and ensure their presence for future generations to enjoy.