Mayan Cichlid ( Cichlasoma urophthalmus )
Common Name: Mexican Mojarra, Tilapia (mis-identified)
Local Name: ??? (Tagalog); ??? (Cebuano)
Max Size: 39.4 cm (1.1 kg)
Biodiversity: Freshwater, Brackish, Introduced
Depth: 0 – ?? m
Fishing Season: All Year Long
Minimum Size Limit: none
Recommended Bait/Lures: Shrimp, Worms, Small Fish, Insects
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (NE)
Mayan Cichlids have been reported in central Luzon as established in many local waterways. This species is originally from South America and has been transferred around the globe through the aquarium trade. That is undoubtedly how it found its way to the waters of the Philippines. It is likely that this species will spread throughout the country and become well established.
These cichlids are look very similar to tilapia only they have a more brownish and reddish color and a spot on their tail. They also have eight bars along their bodies which can help identify them. Anglers are most likely to catch these in the Provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan when fishing in freshwater for tilapia or brackish water fish. Mayan Cichlids make good food fish and can be fished for as gamefish.