A spawning pair of Angustura Cichlids, Paratheraps breidohri.

A spawning pair of Angostura Cichlids, Paratheraps breidohri, featured in Underwater Eye in the May/June issue of AMAZONAS. Image by Morrell Devlin.

Paratheraps breidohri are one of the most colorful large Central American cichlids.  Endemic to Presa de la Angostura, Chiapas, Mexico they are also known by the common, but not so frequently used name, the Angustura Cichlid.  The fish does well in a large aquarium with no special care.  They breed frequently and while tolerant of each other both during and after, are not tolerant of other con specifics in the tank.

As I said to James Lawrence at AMAZONAS, I am happy you used that.  It’s one of my favorite cichlid photos.  It captures the absolute beauty of the species and tells the story of their main focus…breeding.

I’m always amazed at how they instinctively know what their part of the job entails and when.  When the female would swim out of that breeding area…even for a few seconds, the male would immediately go in and continue fanning the eggs.  When they become free swimming the male turns into a watchdog with fins…protecting the area around the spawning area.  What amazing animals.