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Cichlidae

Cichlidae (cichlids; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes) A very large family of freshwater fish, many of which are rather deep-bodied. They have a single, continuous dorsal fin which can be very high (e.g. in Pterophyllum species, angelfish) or low (e.g. in Symphysodon species, discus fish). The lateral line is interrupted and there is a single pair of nostrils. Cichlids vary in size: Apistogramma ramirezi (butterfly cichlid) does not exceed 6 cm, but other species (e.g. Sarotherodon aureus) grow to 35 cm. Many cichlids are cultivated to supply aquarium hobbyists, being colourful, fairly easy to keep, and showing interesting behavioural traits. Other species of the genera Tilapia and Sarotherodon, e.g. S. mossambicus, are a very important source of protein in many countries. There are probably at least 700 species: most occur in Africa, but they are also found in S. America, India, and parts of the Middle East.

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cichlid

cichlid (sĬk´lĬd), common name for members of the family Cichlidae, several hundred species of spiny-finned freshwater fishes of moderate or small size, native to Africa, S Asia, Mexico, and Central and South America. Cichlids are found in tropical waters. The larger species are food fish of some importance, and small species are popular as aquarium fish. Cichlids are noted for the care they give their young; the eggs are laid in a basin hollowed in the sand and, until they hatch, are stored in the mouth of either the male or the female, depending on the species. Cichlids are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Cichlidae.

See study by G. W. Barlow (2000).

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cichlids

cichlids See CICHLIDAE.

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