Cichlasoma istlanum

26. October 2010

The large cichlids from Central America are a bit out of fashion currently. That is a sad thing, for hardly any other fish combines in such a perfect matter brillant coloration, personality and interesting behaviour. Of course these fish need large tanks and an equipment that fits their needs, but if these things are given any aquarist will for sure enjoy keeping them.

One of the rare species in the hobby is Cichlasoma istlanum (the generic position of this species is still an unresolved problem, Cichlasoma is for sure wrong). This splendid species is endemic in the Rio Balsas system in Mexico. Here the fish also represents the only naturally occurring species of cichlid. Males can grow up to 30 cm in length, females always stay smaller. This makes the fish one of the important food fish in the region. Sadly the species is more and more under pressure due to the introduced Amatitlania nigrofasciatum (Zebra cichlid). Although C. istlanum is much larger and stronger than A. nigrofasciatum, the latter reproduces much faster and very often in the year. C. istlanum, on the other side, sometimes reproduces only once per year!

We now have this beautiful fish in stock. Our specimens are German bred. The species is sexually active already at a length of 8-10 cm. The sexes can be distinguished easily by the different coloration.

For our customers: the fish have code 651503 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Cichlasoma: ancient Greek, means “with the body of a Cichla”: Cichla is another genus of cichlid. istlanum: latinized from the Rio Ixtla, the type locality. Amatitlania: referring to Lake Amatitlan in Guatemala, the type locality of the type species, A. nigrofasciatum. nigrofasciatum: Latin, means “with black stripes”.

Suggestion of a common name: Rio Ixtla cichlid, Red bellied cichlid

Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: Hans J. Mayland & Frank Schäfer

MacBeath, T. C. (1991): Zebras in Mexiko. Die Aquarien- und Terrarienzeitschrift (DATZ) 44 (5): 305 – 307
Miller, R. R. (2005): Freshwater Fishes of Mexico. Chicago, 490 pp.

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Nachzucht / bred
Verfügbare Größe in cm 8-10