Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; depth range 5 - ? m. Tropical; 24°C - 27°C (Ref. 2060); 26°N - 9°S
South America: Marowijne drainage in Suriname and French Guiana to the Essequibo drainage in Guyana.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 32 - ? cm
Max length : 74.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); max. published weight: 6.8 kg (Ref. 40637)
Diagnosis. Distinguished from all other species of Cichla except C. nigromaculata, C. intermedia, C. piquiti, and C. melaniae, by presence of bars 1a and 2a. Lateral band abbreviated in juveniles. Distinguished from its congeners with abbreviated lateral band by lateral line usually continuous (vs. discontinuous or nearly always discontinuous in orinocensis and nigromaculata; scales in E1 row (67-) 70-80 (-82) (vs. 84-93 in pleiozona); occipital bar absent or indistinct (vs. emphasized in adults of monoculus, kelberi, and pleiozona); abdominal blotches present (vs. absent in orinocensis); vertical bars present at adult size (vs. three midlateral ocellated blotches in orinocensis), except that an ocellated blotch consistently formed in dorsal portion of bar 3; absence of small black blotches on dorsum (vs. present in nigromaculata); vertical bars about equally wide across side (vs. wide, occasionally confluent dorsally, and tapering ventrad in nigromaculata, monoculus, kelberi, and pleiozona. Distinguished from C. intermedia, C. piquiti, and C. melaniae by abbreviated vs. complete juvenile lateral band, less scales in E1 row (67-82 vs. (78) 83-108), and presence of ocellated blotch in dorsal portion of bar 3 vs. absence (Ref. 57716).
Occurs in the rapids, in quiet waters with medium depth and rocky substrates (Ref. 35237). Forms schools (Ref. 9086). Feeds only on small fish, especially threadfin shad, mosquito fish, tilapia and bluegill. Not considered ideal for aquaculture due to its highly predatory habits (Ref. 1739). Reproduction occurs year-round, with a peak at the start of the rainy season. About 9,000 to 15,000 eggs per kg are released during spawning. Spawning takes place every two months on a flat stone in shallow water. The sticky eggs, measuring 1.4 mm in diameter, take 78 hours to hatch at 28°C.
Spawning, with rare exceptions, takes place on a flat, horizontal surface which is either bare to begin with, or cleared of algae or other vegetation during the spawning activities. The female moves forward laying a single row of eggs and the male follows exuding sperm over each row. Once the eggs have hatched, the parents transport the larvae in their mouths to one of the depression nests.
Kullander, S.O. and H. Nijssen, 1989. The cichlids of Surinam: Teleostei, Labroidei. E.J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands. 256 p. (Ref. 26372)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Potential pest (Ref. 1739)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01288 (0.00688 - 0.02412), b=3.03 (2.87 - 3.19), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.80 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Assuming tm=1; multiple spawning per year; Fec=9,000-15,000).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100).