Mayan Cichlid aka Cichlasoma Urophthalmus – Profile and Photos

The Mayan Cichlid is often referred to as a Red Terror. I purchased the one pictured below as a Red Terror in fact, however it is a completely different fish. The Real Red Terror is Amphilophus Festae or Cichlasoma Festae. The Mayan Cichlid is similar in color to the Festae but not the same fish. The Mayan Cichlid is also known as Mojarra Castarrica in Mexico. They are native to Mexico but are an invasive species in Southern Florida canals, you can catch them on rod and reel if you’re in the area.

Scientific Name: Cichlasoma Urophthalmus

Common Name: Mayan Cichlid, False Red Terror, mojarra castarrica

Regions of Origin: Central America

Temperament: Semi Aggressive, it can live with some larger peaceful fishes but will eat smaller fish it can fit into its mouth. It will not mix well with similar fishes, such as those from the Parachromis family. They will battle for territory.

Diet: Smaller invertebrates, fish, crustaceans, and other small live prey items. In captivity a protein rich pellet can be used as well. We have success feeding Hikari Massivore and Hikari Cichlid Gold sinking pellets.

Size: Up to 11″

Water: PH 5.5-7.5, 72°-83°

Mayan Cichlid – Cichlasoma Urophthalmus – Semi Adult around 5-6″

Mayan Cichlid hiding from the camera in the back of the aquarium.


  • David Norwood says:

    Actually, this is the more highly sought after Festae. It is a male to be exact. I am 100% sure.

    • TankTerrors says:

      Well I no longer have this guy but if that is the case then I wasn’t ripped off after all. I compared photos a ton and thought for sure it was just a Mayan myself, either was they are both nice fish. Thanks for the comment.

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