Large Lipped Cichlid, Red Devil "Cichlasoma" (Amphilophus) labiatum
Synonyms: Cichlasoma erythraeum, C. lobochilus, Heros labiatus
Physical description: An elongated, laterally compressed cichlid with a large cranial lump on the forehead. The mouth is slightly undercut and the lips are very large. The caudal fin is fan shaped, while the dorsal and anal fins comes to a point. The forehead is slightly concave and the eye is small. Juvenile fish are usually gray to gold in color with five to six faint cross-bands. The coloring of adult fish depends entirely on the geographical population of the fish. Commonly available colors include gray, yellow, orange, orange-red, and white. The body is usually a mix of colors. A pure red form exists, although it is seldom caught in nature or available to the hobby. Some populations have black markings.
Size/Length: To 10" (25 cm)
Similar species: Midas Cichlid (C. citrinellum)
Habitat: Central America; Lakes Managua, Nicaragua, and Xiloa in Nicaragua.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A 48" (122 cm) tank with a capacity of 55 gallons (209 L) is necessary for adult fish. See suggestions under C. citrinellum.
Water chemistry: pH 6-8 (7.0), 6-25 dH (12), 75-79°F (24-26°C).
Social behavior: A territorial cichlid that is often very aggressive and belligerent. The Red Devil can not be combined with small fish as they will simply be treated as food. Combine this cichlid with other robust cichlids in a tank with lots of hiding places.
Suggested companions: Cichlasomines, other South American cichlids, Loricarids, Pimelodids, large Characins, Hemichromis, Tilapia.
FOOD: Live; snails, fish, earthworms, insects; chopped meat; vegetables; spinach, peas, lettuce; pellets; tablets.
Sexual differences: Males are larger and have elongated anal and dorsal fins. The male also has a pointed genital papilla, while females have a rounded genital papilla
Breeding techniques: Use warmer water with a temperature from 77-82°F (25-28°C). Usually 600-700 amber-colored eggs, although as many as 7500, are laid on a vertical surface (i.e. slate, pane of glass) or sometimes on rocks at the tank floor. The eggs are guarded by the female and the territory is defended by the male. The eggs hatch in 3 days and the young are moved to large, previously dug, pits where the parents continue their care. The fry can swim on their own after five or six days, at which time they can be fed small live foods. Occasionally the fry may adhere to the flanks of the parents in order to feed off a mucus sections produced by the skin of the parents, similar to the behavior of C. citrinellum. The parental care quickly dissipates after the first week and the fry must be moved to a separate tank. The female should also be removed as the male will usually bully her.
Breeding potential: 6. The Red Devil is fairly easy to breed in a large tank.
Remarks: Several color variations are available, including white, gold, yellow, orange, red, and mixes. Scientists have observed hybridization between C. labiatum and C. citrinellum. It is thought that the reason for hybridization is the cause of the lack of partners for C. labiatum in small lakes. Thus the only way to reproduce is to spawn with similar-looking species where hybridization is possible. C. altifrons, C. macracanthus, and C. robertsoni are other cichlids in the Amphilophus group. The fish of the Amphilophus group are characterized by living close to the substrate and filtering detritus in search for food.
Difficulty of care: 6. A hardy, yet pugnacious cichlid that requires occasional live foods.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from mongabay.com operations (server, data transfer, travel) are mitigated through an association with Anthrotect, an organization working with Afro-indigenous and Embera communities to protect forests in Colombia's Darien region. Anthrotect is protecting the habitat of mongabay's mascot: the scale-crested pygmy tyrant.
"Rainforest" is used interchangeably with "rain forest" on this site. "Jungle" is generally not used.