Male featherfin cichlid fish underwater

Cichlid fish

Cichlid fish are famed for their rapid evolution, particularly in the African Great Lakes, where over a thousand new species have evolved over the last 12,400 to 100,000 years. The members of the cichlid family have diverse diets, mating habits and methods of looking after their young.

Scientific name: Cichlidae

Rank: Family

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The following habitats are found across the Cichlid fish distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Lakes and ponds Lakes and ponds
From the smallest pond (1m square) to the largest lake, this biome provides many opportunities for life to thrive. Because many of these bodies of water are closed environments, they often have self-contained ecologies, enabling some to become evolutionary microcosms.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Adapted to swimming Adapted to swimming
Adaptations for swimming enables animals to move around in water. Animals that can swim proficiently (natatorial) fall into three categories.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

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