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Jaguar cichlid

Adult jaguar cichlid
© G. Chernilevsky, WikiCommons

Jaguar cichlids, or Guapote tigres, are native to Central America. In the 1960s they became popular aquarium fish and established beyond their native habitat in neighbouring countries, then rapidly expanded to countries around the world.

Jaguar cichlids are classed as biosecurity matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014. You are not permitted to import, distribute or keep them within Queensland.

Scientific name

Parachromis managuensis

Description

  • Usually grow to around 20-30cm, sometimes up to 55cm.
  • Weigh up to 1.6kg.
  • Characterised by 'jaguar' like dark blotches on the skin, with vertical dark bars extending to the dorsal fin.
  • Eye colouration is often orange or reddish.
  • Single long dorsal fin characteristic to the cichlidae.

Habitat

  • Warm freshwater rivers and creeks.

Distribution

  • Native to Central America from Honduras to Costa Rica.
  • Thought to be common in aquariums in Queensland. If you have jaguar cichlids in your possession they should be humanely euthanised and buried.
  • Widely distributed in streams, ponds and dams throughout the southern half of Australia.
  • Established in natural waterways in Mackay, Queensland—probable aquarium dumping.

Life cycle

Breeding

  • Grow quickly in aquariums.
  • Little known about breeding in the wild.
  • Lay 5,000-10,000 eggs on hard substrate.
  • Both parents protect eggs and resulting fry.

Diet

  • Highly predatory, feeds on fish and macroinvertebrates.

Impacts

  • Extremely aggressive, will dominate native fish species for habitat, food and space if introduced into Australian freshwater ecosystems.

Control

If you are aware of anyone keeping jaguar cichlids, or see any in the wild, report it immediately thorough our online reporting form. Take photos and keep captured specimens frozen, if possible, to help us with further identification.

Legal requirements

Jaguar cichlids are classed as biosecurity matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014. You are not permitted to import, distribute or keep them within Queensland.

Further information

Contact

General enquiries 13 25 23