Amphilophus labiatus

Amphilophus labiatus
Red Devil Cichlid
Amphilophus labiatus is a large cichlid fish endemic to Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua in Central America. In the aquarium trade A. labiatus is often sold under the trade name of red devil, a common name which they share with Amphilophus citrinellus.Colouration in wild specimens is variable and while most specimens are grey to greyish green some pink, red or white specimens do occur. Black pigmentation in spots or bands is also common. Some specimens have enlarged lips, though this condition is thought to be related to specific food choice preferences in their natural habitat as this trait disappears in captivity. Like most cichlids, A. labiatus has advanced brood care. The species forms monogamous pairs which spawn on flattened rocks or logs.Aquarists who keep cichlids regard red devils as aggressive fish. This aggressive behaviour combined with their razor sharp teeth and powerful jaws means cohabitants should be chosen carefully and the fish should be kept in a large aquarium. Red Devils may be so aggressive that they ram into the glass to get at invaders, break heaters and other aquarium equipment, and will somethimes bite their owners

This fish can be mistaken for Amphilophus citrinellus. Red devils are more elongated, more streamlined fish whereas the Midas cichlid is a bulkier, taller-bodied fish. Midas typically will grow a larger nuchal hump than Red devils. Also, when viewed from above the mouth of a Red devil will be a V shaped whereas the mouth of a Midas will be more of a U shaped. The snout of the Midas is shorter and more blunt than the more elongated snout of a Red devil.
Red devil and Midas cichlids have been hybridized for years so the commonly seen "Red devils" seen in fish stores are hybrids of the 2 species. To find a pure specimen of Amphilophus citrinellus or Amphilophus labiatus one must find a reputable breeder, seller or importer.
In the wild, Red devils can be found both in the Coloured variety and barred variety with the barred variety being more common due to the higher likelihood of the brightly coloured fish being picked off by larger predators. In the aquarium trade, however, the brightly coloured, selectively bred specimens are more prominent.