A. ocellatus have been reported to grow to a length of 45 cm (approximately 18 in) and a mass of 1.6 kg (3.5 lb). The wild caught forms of the species are typically darkly coloured with orange ringed-spots or ocelli on the caudal peduncle and on the dorsal fin. It has been suggested that these ocelli function to limit fin-nipping by piranha (Serrasalmus spp.) which co-occur with A. ocellatus in its natural environment. Further studies have suggested the ocelli may also be important for intraspecific communication. The species is also able to rapidly alter its colouration, a trait which facilitates ritualised territorial and combat behaviours amongst conspecifics. Juvenile A. ocellatus have a different colouration to adults and are striped with white and orange wavy bands and have spotted heads.[8

Astronotus ocellatus is a species of fish from the cichlid family known under a variety of common names including oscar, tiger oscar, velvet cichlid or marble cichlid. In South America, where the species occurs, A. ocellatus are often found for sale as a food fish in the local markets. However, its slow growth limits its potential for aquaculture. The species is also a popular aquarium fish


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oscar".