But Nicaragua is also home to Hypsophrys nicaraguensis
commonly called the Nicaragua cichlid
. These Central America cichlids are beautiful and they sport a very distinctive body shape. Their primary colors are bluish green with bright orange with velvet black markings along the body.
Males are said to reach some ten inches with females remaining smaller at eight inches. Adult males develop nuchal humps a distinctive feature. Also this cichlid develops long trailing ventral fins similar to Geophagus species
Nicaragua cichlids are not very fussy in terms of tank maintenance and feedings. Longer community tanks work well for this species. They are substrate spawners so in typical cichlid fashion the female lays eggs and the male fertilizes them. This species however has a unique attribute relative to their eggs. H. nicaraguensis eggs are non-adhesive and bounce around or move when the female is fanning them. It’s actually very interesting to watch the eggs naturally tumble around under the female. African cichlid breeders use egg tumblers
to recreate this for mouth breeding species.
In 2007 a study
found that another cichlid from Nicargua called Neetroplus nematopus commonly called the Poor man's tropheus
and Hypsophrys nicaraguensis provide morphological support for the sister-group relationship of Hypsophrys
recovered in recent molecular phylogenetic analyses.
Based on a strongly rounded snout with a small and slightly subterminal mouth there is sufficient justification to synonymize Neetroplus and Hypsophrys because of their monotypic status and sister-group relationship.
Hypsophrys nicaraguensis Video
List of Scientific and Common names
Related links on cichlids and fish from Central America