Description: The common name of the long, oval- shaped strong Jaguar cichlid comes from scales that give the body a yellow-bronze color decorated with black markings – resembling a Jaguar pelt. Like most cichlids, they also change color as they mature, with young being a drab silver color. At maturity, the dull silver changes to dark black on the males but are somewhat lighter on females. The lower lip has two to four small incisor teeth.
Size: Adults are usually found to be between 16 to 24 inches (41-61 cm) and weigh up to approximately 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg), with males being larger than females.
Behavior: A beautiful, but extremely aggressive, territorial and predatory species.
Diet: Their diet is small fish and invertebrates.
Reproduction: Jaguar cichlids often spawn in caves with the female laying 2,000 or more eggs on a hard surface, which are then fertilized by the male. The parents protect them until they hatch after three days and the fry are free swimming five days later. The fry feed on detritus and phytoplankton/zooplankton.
Habitat/range: The freshwater Jaguar cichlid is native to Central America where it can be found in lakes, ponds and springs in Nicaragua, Honduras and Nicaragua. Today, the Jaguar cichlid has been introduced by man to a majority of the other Central American countries, the United States, Mexico, Cuba and Singapore.
Status: This species is not listed on the IUCN Red List.