Amphilophus citrinellus :
BMNH 18220.127.116.11-203 (3 syntypes ), Nicaragua , Lake Nicaragua ; UMMZ 180617 (7, 2 C&S, 6 dig.), UMMZ 188309 (7, 1 C&S, 1 skel., 6 dig.), Nicaragua , Lake Managua at Mateare ; UMMZ 197508 (10, 10 XR), Nicaragua , Jiloá [ Heros basilaris ZBK : BMNH 1905.3.27.4 ( cotype ), Nicaragua , Lake Nicaragua .]
- Juan J. Schmitter-Soto (2007): A systematic revision of the genus Archocentrus (Perciformes: Cichlidae), with the description of two new genera and six new species. Zootaxa 1603, 1-78: 75-75, URL:http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:AFFCB590-1FC7-4CD0-950C-D1D1A6E59F6C
occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: Atlantic Slope of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Introduced and established in canals near Homestead, Dade County, Florida. (Page and Burr 1991, Robins et al. 1991).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Comments: Box-cut canals with rocky vertical sides (presumably pertains to Florida, Page and Burr 1991). Spawns and young take shelter in crevices (Page and Burr 1991).
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.
Diseases and Parasites
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Amphilophus citrinellus
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.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Amphilophus citrinellus
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 17
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Amphilophus citrinellus is a large cichlid fish endemic to the San Juan River and adjacent watersheds in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In the aquarium trade A. citrinellus is often sold under the trade name of Midas cichlid. A. citrinellus are omnivorous and their diet consists of plant material, molluscs and smaller fish. The species is closely related to but not to be mistaken as Amphilophus labiatus.
Midas Cichlids are heavily built and are capable of standing up to any other aquarium-sized cichlid in fights over territory. They have powerful jaws, sharp teeth and a physical size advantage in comparison to other aquarium species. Therefore, the aggressivity of Midas cichlids should not be underestimated and co-habitants should be chosen carefully in an aquarium setting.
Considerable debate over the taxonomic status of A. citrinellus began soon after the discovery of this species in the nineteenth century and continued throughout the twentieth century. A multivariate approach to treatment of anatomical characters has facilitated the discrimination among very similarly shaped species, aided by behavioral and ecological evidence. Multiple species of this group have been identified and verified by genomic and mitochondrial DNA evidence in volcanic crater lakes Apoyo (see Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve) and Xiloa. The genetic evidence from Apoyo supports a hypothesis that the six known species of the lake evolved via sympatric speciation. A few to perhaps several dozen species fitting the biological species concept are considered to exist among what has historically been called A. citrinellus, the great majority of which have not been described to date. The nine most recently described members of this species complex are considered endemic to their respective small, volcanic crater lakes.
Colouration in wild stocks is variable, with most specimens grey to olive brown with a characteristic pattern of black dorsolateral bars, some pink, white, yellow or orange specimens do occur. These brightly colored forms, often called "golds", exist in nature at varying frequencies throughout the range of the species group. Colorations and morphological characters (e.g. accentuated nuchal humps) seen in the hobbyist trade are the product of selective breeding for several generations and may not be reflected in the wild.
The conservation status of only one species of this group has been analyzed. The arrow cichlid (Amphilophus zaliosus) was evaluated as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Among the small body of information regarding populations of the species of this group, four other species may have smaller populations and/or ranges than this fish in Laguna de Apoyo: Amphilophus flaveolus, Amphilophus chancho, Amphilophus supercilius, and Amphilophus globosus. The final member of the complex, Amphilophus astorquii, constitutes about eighty percent of the breeding population of Laguna de Apoyo.
- Stauffer JR, Jr., McCrary JK, & Black KE (2008): Three new species of cichlid fishes (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua; PROCEEDINGS OF THE BIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON 121(1):117–129 
- Geiger MF, McCrary JK, & Stauffer JR, Jr. (2010): Description of two new species of the Midas cichlid complex (Teleostei:Cichlidae) from Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua; PROCEEDINGS OF THE BIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON 123(2):159–173 
- Geiger MF, McCrary JK, Schliewen U (2010): Not a simple case – A first comprehensive phylogenetic hypothesis for the Midas cichlid complex in Nicaragua (Teleostei: Cichlidae: Amphilophus); Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56:1011-1024 
- McCrary JK, Lopez Perez LJ (2008): El monitoreo de las mojarras (Amphilophus spp.) en Nicaragua con aportes sobre su ecologia y estado de conservacion en la Laguna de Apoyo ; Revista Nicaraguense BIODIVERSIDAD 1:43-50 
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