Astronotus ocellatus
(Agassiz 1831)
Family Cichlidae

Lateral view of an oscar
This oscar was collected in Miami-dade County, Florida in 2014. It is now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection, UF 236677. Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The oscar is a member of the cichlid and tilapia family. It has a compressed, almost oval body. There are large posterior extensions of the dorsal and anal fins, and most adults have a black spot with a bright red halo just above the midline of the caudal fin base. The body is olive to beige with large, irregular and dark blotches. The head, body and fins of juveniles are dark with irregular, tan reticulations. The anal fin has three spines and caudal fin is rounded. Oscars can be found in canals, streams, sloughs and wet prairies adjacent to canals during wet seasons.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Non-indigenous freshwater
  • Florida Distribution — Peninsula drainages
  • River Drainages — the Everglades
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