Waterborne: Rio Grande Cichlid (Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum)

Origin and Date of Introduction: Rio Grande Valley; circa 1990.

Pathway / Media: Waterways; aquarium water.

Reason for Introduction: Accidental, probably through dumped aquarium water.

Preferred Habitat: Freshwater aquatic ecosystems.

Ecological / Economic Damage: Outcompetes native fish; depletes food resources; may harbor parasites. The Rio Grande Cichlid, discovered in Lake Pontchartrain and canals in the New Orleans area in the 1990s, may pose a threat to native fish through competition for resources and by the parasites that it harbors.

Rio Grande Cichlid

Photo: USGS, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species

Futher Reading: USGS, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species