Cichlids are a large and diverse group of fish that are found in fresh, brackish, and marine waters throughout the world, with the greatest diversity being found in Africa and Central and South America.
The name "cichlid" comes from the Greek word "ichthys," which means "fish," and was first used to describe this group of fish in 1805.
- There are at least 1,650 different species of Cichlids, while estimates indicate this number could be as high as 3,000.
- Cichlids are known for their bright colors and patterns, which they use for both communication and camouflage.
- They are also known for their complex social behaviors, including the ability to form monogamous pair bonds and to cooperate in the care of their young. Some cichlid species are also highly territorial and will defend their territory aggressively against other fish.
- These fish are highly adaptable and have evolved to occupy a wide range of habitats, from shallow streams and ponds to deep lakes and rivers. They have also adapted to a wide range of diets, including plant matter, insects, and other small animals.
- Cichlids are a popular fish among aquarium hobbyists. Many species of cichlids are relatively easy to care for and can be kept in home aquariums.
- Most African cichlids are mouthbrooders, meaning the parent will carry their eggs inside their mouth until they are ready to hatch.