Mikrogeophagus is a South American dwarf cichlid genus with three species as of 2022. One of these species is the Blue Ram Cichlid, Microgeophagus rameriziI which is probably the best-known dwarf cichlid of all time. The other species are Mikrogeophagus altispinosus and Mikrogeophagus maculicauda.

The first species in the genus to be described is Mikrogeophagus altispinosus which was described in 1911 as Crenicara altispinosa while the Blue Ram was described in 1948 as Apistogramma ramerizi. Since then, there have been a number of renaming events.

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  • In 1957, Frey introduced the name Microgeophagus but its use was never widely adopted.
  • In 1960 Wickler suggested using “Apistogramma” in quotes in recognition of its uncertain status. Unfortunately, this suggestion was not followed
  • In 1969 the name Pseudogeophagus was suggested
  • In 1971 the name Pseudoapistogramma was suggested
  • In 1977 the Swedish ichthyologist Dr. Sven Kullander weighed in with a complete redefinition of the genus and established the name Papiliochromis. Most considered that the Ram name was decided and Papiliochromis was briefly accepted.
  • In 1982, the debate began anew as several authors advocated for the adoption of Mikrogeophagus and in 1998 Kullander began to use the name Mikrogeophagus.

Today, the name Mikrogeophagus is universally accepted as the correct name. I’ve not heard of anyone objecting and it seems to be a settled question.

Mikrogeophagus maculicauda is the most recently described member of the genus. In fact, it was just described in the fall of 2022. It’s very similar to Mikrogeophagus altispinosus and has been known to hobbyists for many years as M. sp. “Zweifleck/Two-patch”.