Alternate Title

Ecology of the Mayan Cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus Günther, in the Alvarado Lagoonal System, Veracruz, Mexico

Document Type



The Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus, has a wide distribution in southeastern Mexico where it inhabits rivers and coastal lagoons. In the Alvarado lagoonal system, Veracruz, it is distributed towards the north in Camaronera Lagoon. The Mayan cichlid shows an affinity for oligohaline to mesohaline sites with submerged vegetation, well-oxygenated, deep, and transparent water. The major abundance and biomass of this species was obtained during December to February. The diet of Mayan cichlids consists principally of plant detrital material and algae. Length-frequency distribution shows 2 size classes during both the dry and rainy seasons, corresponding to reproductive fish and young of the year; during the nortes season there is only one modal size class of fish between 60–100 mm SL. Individuals with developed gonads are found throughout the year, although most reproductive adults are found between April and December. The highest Gonadosomatic Index (GSI) values coincided with the peak in reproductive activity between May and July. The fecundity ranged from 1,556–3,348 eggs/female, and there was no relationship between female size and fecundity.

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