Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Herichthys cyanoguttatus, Rio Grande Cichlid, Texas Cichlid

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head bluntly pointed
black blotch : center flank, tail base
dense small blue spots: head, body & fins
mouth short

Herichthys cyanoguttatus Baird & Girard, 1854

Rio Grande Cichlid, Texas Cichlid

Body oval, moderately compressed; large fish with a bulbous hump over the eyes; 1 pair of nostrils; mouth short, oblique, horizontal or slightly down pointing; jaws about equal or upper projecting; top jaw highly protrusible; jaw teeth mostly conical, but central teeth of outer series compressed and spatula-like in adult, closely packed and pointed in young; gill rakers 7-15; dorsal fin XV-XVIII, 10-14, without a notch between spines and rays; anal fin V-VI, 7-11; pectoral fin reaching to above anus; length of tail base < its depth at its mid-point; bases of soft dorsal and anal fins scaled; lateral line in 2 straight overlapping sections; scales large, 18+8 on lateral line.

Grey-brown; head, body & fins with many small, blue spots; a row of dark spots along mid-flank, typically one at mid-body, another on tail fin base, sometimes several more between those; body with up to 8 indistinct dark bars, those on rear half of body darker; no stripe along mid-side; sometimes a black spot on middle of spiny dorsal fin.

Reaches 33 cm.

Primarily freshwater, but also in low salinity brackish water (up to at least 7 ppt) near river mouths.

Depth range: 0-5 m.

Originally from the western Gulf of Mexico. Introduced to the northern Gulf and both coasts of Florida, also Puerto Rico.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 33
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5