Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in INVESTIGATIONS OF THE ICHTHYOFAUNA OF NICARAGUAN LAKES, ed. Thomas B. Thorson (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1976). Copyright © 1976 School of Life Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Cichlasoma citrinellum (Gunther), the Midas cichlid, is the most important food fish in the Great Lakes Basin of Nicaragua. It occurs in the majority of the lakes, where it is the most ubiquitous cichlid fish, but it is uncommon in the rivers. The fry are carnivorous while the juveniles and adults are omnivorous, eating mostly Aufwuchs, snails, and fish. The Midas cichlids suffer from a number of diseases in nature and in the laboratory, including lymphocystis and nocardiosis. Potential predators vary from sharks and sawfish in Lake Nicaragua, to just one cichlid relative in one crater lake; in Lake Managua and the crater lakes the large adult Midas cichlids face little danger from predators.