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Species: Vieja maculicauda, Spotted Cichlid

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

grey; cheek & throat red
belly: black bar/blotch
tail base: large black blotch



Vieja maculicauda (Regan, 1905)

Spotted Cichlid

Body oval, deep; large males with a hump over eye; 1 pair of nostrils; mouth short, slightly oblique, jaws about equal; top jaw highly protrusible; jaw teeth conical or cylindrical, outer series on top jaw larger at front; gill rakers 7-15; dorsal fin XV-XVIII, 10-14, no notch after spines; anal fin V-VI, 8-11; pectoral fin not reaching to above anal fin origin; tail base short to medium; bases of soft dorsal and anal fins scaled; lateral line in 2 straight overlapping sections.

Pale grey brown to grey; iris pale; lower cheek and throat reddish; an irregular black bar or blotch on belly and lower side; a large black blotch on tail base; dorsal and anal fins pale grey with rows of small black spots along fin rays; end of dorsal and outer half of tail fin red in breeding male.

Reaches 30 cm.

In calm freshwater and brackish water.

Depth: 0 -10 m.

Belize to Panama; has passed through the Panama Canal to the lower locks on the Pacific coast..

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Terrestrial plants
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Detritus
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10