Amphilophus chancho

Animals of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

Estacion Biologica FUNDECI/GAIA

Chancho cichlid

Amphilophus chancho

Several species of the Midas cichlid species complex (Osteichthyes: Cichlidae) are found in Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua. The largest of the group in this lake is the Chancho Cichlid, Amphilophus chancho. The Chancho Cichlid is endemic to the lake and it evolved there, and it was officially described in 2008. Until then, it was considered a color form or Evoluntionarily Significant Unit of the species Amphilophus citrinellus, whose recognized name in earlier literature is Cichlasoma citrinellum. To date, six species in Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) species group have been described in Lake Apoyo, and evidence suggest that several more are yet to be discovered there. Here we present some photos of this fish in its natural habitat in Lake Apoyo, by the master of underwater photography, Ad Konings.

Amphilophus chancho

Amphilophus chancho often looks at the observer with both eyes, a sign of a bold predator, in sharp contrast to most freshwater fish. This is an evident adaptation to its predatory trophic position. Photo by Ad Konings.

chancho cichlid

This chancho cichlid is guarding her fry. All the Nicaraguan cichlids provide parental care until the fry are several weeks old. Photo by Ad Konings.

chancho cichlid

This male chancho cichlid in breeding coloration was made a type specimen for the species, and is now in a museum. Photo by Matthias Geiger.

Amphilophus chancho

This large male Amphilophus chancho is in breeding coloration. Photo by Ad Konings.

Midas cichlid

This subadult chancho cichlid is presenting the typical coloration of nonbreeding adults, with black spots laterally over a lemon yellow base color. Photo by Ad Konings.

Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

Nonbreeding chancho cichlids often form schools. Photo by Ad Konings.

Would you like to share your photographs of the chancho cichlid in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve? Please share them with us by contacting us at apoyo@gaianicaragua.org.

Animals of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

Our blog entry on chancho cichlid

Our blog entry on Darwin's Newest Dreampond

Our blog entry 1 on variegated squirrels

Our blog entry 2 on variegated squirrels

In Defense of Nature

Donate to FUNDECI/GAIA

Scuba Diving in Lake Apoyo

FUNDECI/GAIA homepage

email us

chancho cichlid

The environment of Laguna de Apoyo is natural and nearly unspoiled.

 

endemic cichlids

Seed collection is performed locally to promote the conservation of local genetic varieties for reforestation in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

 

Amphilophus chancho

The forest inside the crater in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve contains dozens of reptile species.

 

Cichlasoma citrinellum

Thanks to the efforts of FUNDECI/GAIA and the contributions of visitors to Estación Biológica, these children can attend the new, beautiful "Heroes y Mártires de Xiloá" school near the shore of Laguna de Xiloá in Chiltepe Peninsula Nature Reserve

 

Midas cichlid

Field identification of the reptiles of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo by Belen Camino.

cichlids Nicaragua

Many species of snakes are common in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

Amphilophus chancho

This tiny snake, Tantilla armillata, was the first to be found in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.