IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Herichthys cyanoguttatus (formerly Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum) Texas Cichlid or Rio Grande Cichlid

The Texas Cichlid, also known as the Rio Grande Cichlid, is the only cichlid native to the United States. The species is native to the lower Rio Grande drainage in south Texas. These freshwater fish can grow up to 30 cm, and are distinguished by the cream to blue speckles covering their bodies. Cichlids engage in aggressive, intraspecific competition for resources like mating sites and foraging material. In addition, cichlids are monogamous fish that have biparental offspring care. The Texas Cichlid has evolved a number of functional adaptations that enable it to survive in its native habitat as well as thrive as invasive species. These adaptations are closely tied to their evolutionary history and predisposition toward rapid development of variation within populations. Although native to the Rio Grande, Texas Cichlid populations have been reported in New Orleans, Louisiana and Florida. Due to their aggressive behavior, they outcompete other native species like bluegill, large mouth bass, western mosquitofish, sailfin mollies, and blue crabs for resources and mating grounds. 


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Authors: Linda Garrison, Cooper Wyatt, Sarah Kim, Amy Shin Editors: Yoel Stuart, Robert Deans

Supplier: UTAustin_VNH2015

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