Firemouth Cichlid

By C. Moormann

Thorichthys meeki

Firemouth Cichlids have a red coloration on the under side of the mouth. When breeding the vivid red throat and belly extends wider and to almost the entire length of the fish in both sexes. The body is generally blue-gray with several black blotches and it has brown fins streaked with blue. There are coloration differences, however, depending on each fishes place of origin. During spawning, both sexes display an inflated fiery red throat sac and gill covers resembling the flaring of the front of a sports car extending downward. Firemouth cichlids (Thorichthys meeki) are native to Central America. They occur in rivers of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, south through Belize and into northern Guatemala. Their natural habitat is typically shallow, slow-moving, often turbid, water with a pH of 6.5 - 8.0. It has also been reported to live in underground cave systems. As fish with a tropical distribution, firemouth cichlids live in warm water with a temperature range of 23–30 °C (75–86 °F).

Here are a few of pictures of the firemouths:
Young firemouths. Photo, C. Moormann, 2009 Click to Enlarge

More young firemouth cichlids. Photo, C. Moormann, 2009 Click to Enlarge

Here are movies of some of the fish on You-tube on the internet:
Firemouths Firemouths.