midas cichlid

Midas Cichlid

Amphilophus citrinellus

About This Animal

SIZE: Up to 14 inches (35.56 cm)

RANGE: San Juan River and adjacent watersheds in Costa Rica and Nicaragua

HABITAT: Mostly found in lakes and on rare occasions calm areas of slow flowing rivers that provide cover with rocky outcroppings and tree roots.

DIET: Omnivorous but mostly small fish, snails, insect larvae, worms and other benthic creatures.

ON EXHIBIT: Lake Nicaragua Exhibit in the Lower Canyon of River Journey

The midas cichlid (pronounced “sic-lid”) is found nowhere else in the world.  It is endemic within its small range.  It looks almost identical to the red devil cichlid, but the midas cichlid is a totally different species.

The midas cichlid exhibits sexual dimorphism whereas most other members of the family do not.  As they mature, they develop a nuchal hump on their heads with the male exhibiting a significantly larger hump than the female.  Females develop just a small hint of a lump.  In the wild, the hump only appears during the breeding season.

However for some unexplained reason(s), the hump is usually permanent in aquarium specimens.  Its constant presence does not seem to have a negative effect on their spawning behavior.

They are extremely aggressive and territorial when breeding.  They are known to commonly keep and defend an area of 4 feet around their nest.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, they have not been evaluated (NE) or not listed.