Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Prefers lower and middle sections of rivers in slow moving waters (Ref. 7335). Lives in mud-bottomed and sand-bottomed canals and rocky ponds (Ref. 5723). Stays close to the shoreline vegetation for protection (Ref. 44091). Omnivorous, but feeds mainly on algae (Ref. 6466). Used in behavioral studies (Ref. 4537). Aquarium keeping: minimum aquarium size 100 cm (Ref. 51539).
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Atlantic Slope from Rio Tonala, Veracruz, Mexico, to southern Belize. Introduced and established in Dade County, Florida, and in Hawaii; also introduced in Arizona (Page and Burr 1991, Robins et al. 1991).

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Central America: Atlantic slope, in the Usumacinta River drainage, the Belize River drainage, and near Progreso, in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.
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Atlantic Slope: Belize, Colombia (introduced), Guatemala and Mexico; introduced in Hawaiian Islands and Florida, U.S.A.
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 17 cm

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Max. size

17.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723))
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Type Information

Type for Thorichthys helleri meeki
Catalog Number: USNM 79243
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Yucatan, Mexico, North America
  • Type:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: Mud- and sand-bottomed canals and rocky ponds (Page and Burr 1991).

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Environment

benthopelagic; non-migratory; freshwater; pH range: 6.5 - 7.5; dH range: 10
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Prefers lower and middle sections of rivers in slow moving waters (Ref. 7335). Lives in mud- and sand-bottomed canals and rocky ponds (Ref. 5723). Omnivorous, but feeds mainly on algae. Showed quantitative diel, ontogenetic and seasonal diet changes (Ref. 78170).
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Diseases and Parasites

Yellow Grub. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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White spot Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Valipora Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Uvulifer Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Stunkardiella Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Spiroxys Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Skin Flukes. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Serpinema Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Sciadicleithrum Infection 2. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Pseudoterranova Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Procamallanus Infection 13. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Posthodiplostomum Infestation 2. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Perezitrema Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Pelaezia Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Oligogonotylus Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Neoechinorhynchus Infestation 6. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Genarchella Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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False Fungal Infection (Epistylis sp.). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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False Fungal Infection (Apiosoma sp.). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Falcaustra Infection (Falcaustra sp.). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Diplostomum Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Crassicutis Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Cotylurus Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Contracaecum Disease (larvae). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Cladocystis Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Bothriocephalus Infestation 2. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Ascocotyle Infestation 3. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Ascocotyle Infestation 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Apharyngostrigea Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Deposits eggs on open substrate such as stones (Ref. 6466), a piece of submerged wood, or a shallow depression excavated in the substrate; from 100 to 500 eggs are deposited and guarded by both parents; newly hatched young are transferred to shallow pits and the parents continue guarding them (Ref. 44091).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Thorichthys meeki

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 27 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CACCCTTTACCTAGTTTTTGGTGCCTGGGCCGGAATAGTAGGAACCGCCTTAAGCCTGCTGATCCGAGCAGAACTCAGCCAACCGGGCTCTCTCCTTGGAGATGACCAAATTTATAACGTAATCGTAACTGCACACGCCTTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTCATACCTATCATAATTGGAGGCTTCGGAAACTGACTAGTCCCACTCATGATTGGCGCCCCAGACATGGCCTTCCCACGGATGAATAACATGAGTTTTTGACTTCTCCCCCCTTCATTTCTCCTTCTCCTCGCTTCATCGGGAGTCGAAGCTGGCGCTGGGACAGGATGAACCGTCTACCCCCCACTAGCAGGCAATCTGGCACACGCTGGCCCCTCAGTCGACCTGACCATCTTCTCCCTTCATTTGGCGGGGGTCTCATCTATTCTTGGAGCAATCAACTTTATTACCACAATTATTAACATAAAACCTCCAGCAATTTCCCAATATCAAACCCCCCTATTTGTCTGGGCAGTTTTAATTACCGCCGTCCTACTCCTGCTATCCCTACCAGTCCTTGCTGCAGGCATCACAATACTTCTAACAGATCGAAACCTAAACACAACCTTCTTTGACCCGGCCGGAGGAGGAGACCCCATTCTTTACCAACACCTATTC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Thorichthys meeki

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 28
Specimens with Barcodes: 85
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Comments: Popular aquarium fish.

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Importance

fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: highly commercial
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Wikipedia

Firemouth cichlid

The firemouth cichlid (Thorichthys meeki) is a species of cichlid fish native to Central America. They occur in rivers of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, south through Belize and into northern Guatemala. Their natural habitat is typically shallow, slow-moving, often turbid, water with a pH of 6.5 - 8.0. It has also been reported to live in underground cave systems. As fish with a tropical distribution, firemouth cichlids live in warm water with a temperature range of 23–30 °C (75–86 °F). The common name, firemouth, is derived from the bright orange-red colouration on the underside of the jaw. Males in particular flare out their gills, exposing their red throats, in a threat display designed to ward off male rivals from their territory. Like most cichlids, brood care is highly developed; this species is an egg-layer. Firemouth cichlids form monogamous pairs and spawn on flattened surfaces of rocks, leaves or submerged wood. Breeding males are primarily responsible for territorial defense, while females are more intensively involved in raising the fry, though both parents lead the fry in search of food. Firemouth cichlids are omnivorous and opportunistic in their feeding strategies. Their ability to protrude their jaw 6% standard length limits their diet to about 6% evasive prey. [1] Sexual dimorphism is present, though limited in this species. Males are generally larger, (up to 15 cm), than females with brighter and more red colouration around the throat, they also have more pointed dorsal and anal fins. Firemouths are suitable for community aquaria, though they may become aggressive to other members of its species during spawning.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hulsey, C. D.; Garcia De Leon, F. J. (2005). "Cichlid jaw mechanics: Linking morphology to feeding specialization". Functional Ecology 19 (3): 487. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2005.00987.x.  edit
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