Genus & Species: Over 1600 species scientifically described
Several species are listed at various levels by IUCN.
Africa, Central and South America, and parts of Asia. Cichlids are found throughout Africa and parts of the Middle East, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and the southern coast of India. There are no cichlids native to Australia or the Far East. They are found in the New World from Texas to South America.
Cichlids occupy a variety of freshwater and brackish habitats including rivers, lakes, swamps, ditches, and puddles. They are not found at high elevations and generally require water warmer that 68ºF.
- Activity & Behavior:
Activity can be diurnal or nocturnal depending on the species. Cichlids display numerous complex behaviors in feeding, reproduction, and parental care. Many maintain and defend feeding territories as well as breeding territories.
Many cichlids are primarily herbivorous, feeding on algae and plants; some are detritivores and eat all types of organic material; others are predatory on small animals, other fishes, and insect larvae.