Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Cichlasomatinae
Etymology: Amatitlania: Named for the type locality of the type species; 'Amatitlán' means 'a
place abundant in amate' in Nahuatl, 'amate' is a kind of rustic paper made from the bark of Ficus petiolaris or Ficus indica..
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - 8.0; dH range: 9 - 20. Tropical; 20°C - 36°C (Ref. 36880); 15°N - 8°N
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 10.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 36377); common length : 8.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193)
(total): 17 - 19;
soft rays: 6 - 7;
Vertebrae: 27 - 28. This species is distinguished by the following characters: two (vs. one) distal rows of
interradial scales on anal fin; arms in the first epibranchial bone are parallel (vs. divergent); posterior end of dentigerous arm of dentary rounded or squarish (vs. triple-spined or bluntly pointed); peritoneal coloration is uniformly dark (vs. not uniformly dark); rostrad directed pronounced convexity on the ventral process of the articular absent (vs. present); body less deep than as compared with its congeners kanna and siquia; 4th bar not Y-shaped (Ref. 74403).
Central America: Pacific slope, from Río Sucio, El Salvador to Río Suchiate, Guatemala; Atlantic slope, from Río Patuca, Honduras to Río Jutiapa, Guatemala. Not in slope to Panama, Costa Rica or even Nicaragua, as formerly considered. Introduced elsewhere.
Adults inhabit flowing water from small creeks and streams to the shallows of large and fast flowing rivers (Ref. 7335). Prefer rocky habitats and finds sanctuary in the various cracks and crevices provided by this type of environment (Ref. 7335), or among roots and debris (Ref. 44091). They occur in warm pools of springs and their effluents (Ref. 7020). Feed on worms, crustaceans, insects, fish and plant matter (Refs. 7020; 44091). Also used in behavioral studies (Ref. 4537). Approximately 100-150 eggs are deposited and are vigorously guarded and cared for by both male and female (Ref. 44091). A popular aquarium fish which requires high temperature to maintain itself in an environment, e.g. artificially heated waters of power stations. Aquarium keeping: in pairs; minimum aquarium size 80 cm (Ref. 51539).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Lays eggs on cleaned surfaces of rocks. Parents incubate eggs and guard young. Tends and fans the embryos and free embryos and transfers them several times into new pits excavated in the bottom using its mouth (huddling) (Ref. 34155).
Dark cavities are preferred as nests to conceal the brood and make them less conspicuous to visual predators (Ref. 38966). When in caves, single entrances are favored to reduce the probability of intrusion and are probably more manageable for the females in terms of defending their brood (Ref. 38966). Approximately 100-150 eggs are deposited and are vigorously guarded and cared for by both male and female (Ref. 44091).
Schmitter-Soto, J.J., 2007. A systematic revision of the genus Archocentrus (Perciformes: Cichlidae), with the description of two new genera and six new species. Zootaxa 1603:1-78. (Ref. 74403)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Potential pest (Ref. 44091)
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: highly commercial
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.45 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm<1 and multiple spawning events per year; Fec=100-150).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .