This fish is a thick-lipped Apistogramma from the A. cacatuoides group. It displays black markings at the caudal peduncle, the first few spines of the dorsal fin along with a dotted line at its base, an eye stripe slanting down and back, and an indefinite lateral stripe that can be light or dark depending on mood. The female will also display jet black ventral fins. When in good condition, the males will show some wonderful color. His body has a base color of tan to brown, with a bright yellow cheek and abdomen. His ventral and anal fins are blue, and his upper dorsal has a pale blue stripe, topped by a yellow one. The first few spines on the dorsal fin are elongated in the adult male. The female is beautiful in her own way, especially during spawning and egg/fry care. She displays a bright yellow body with contrasting jet black markings. During this time, the lateral stripe disappears and she develops a black spot on her side.