/sik"lid/, n.
1. any of the spiny-rayed, freshwater fishes constituting the family Cichlidae, of South America, Africa, and southern Asia, superficially resembling the American sunfishes and popular in home aquariums.
2. belonging or pertaining to the family Cichlidae.
Also, cichloid /sik"loyd/.
[1880-85; < NL Cichlidae, equiv. to Cichl(a) a genus ( < Gk kíchle thrush, wrasse) + -idae -ID2]

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Any of more than 600 primarily freshwater fish species (family Cichlidae), including many popular aquarium species.

Cichlids are found in the New World tropics, Africa and Madagascar, and southern Asia. Most species are African, appearing in great diversity in the major African lakes. Cichlids are deep-bodied and have a rounded tail. They usually grow no longer than about 12 in. (30 cm). Species may be omnivores, herbivores, or carnivores. Cichlids are noted for their complex mating and breeding behavior. Certain species (e.g., tilapia), known as mouthbreeders, carry their eggs in the mouth until hatched. See also angelfish.

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      any of more than 1,300 species of fishes of the family Cichlidae (order Perciformes), many of which are popular aquarium fishes. Cichlids are primarily freshwater fishes and are found in tropical America, Africa and Madagascar, and southern Asia. The majority of species are African, appearing in great diversity in the major African lakes.

      Cichlids are rather deep-bodied and have one nostril (rather than the usual two) on each side of the head, the lateral line is discontinuous, and there are three or more anal spines. They generally have rounded tails and, though sizable for aquarium fishes, usually do not grow longer than about 30 centimetres (12 inches). In many species, the rear edges of the dorsal and anal fins are pointed and the pelvic fins are elongated.

      Depending on the species, cichlids range from vegetarian to carnivorous. They are noted for their complex mating and breeding behaviour. This usually involves courtship and preparation, maintenance, and defense of the nest and protection of the new young. In certain species, however, known as mouthbreeders (mouthbreeder), the eggs are not placed in a nest but are carried in the mouth of the parent until hatched. This mouthbreeding behaviour is common to many species of the genus Tilapia and also to certain other Old World genera.

      Among the better known of the many popular aquarium cichlids are the firemouth (Cichlasoma meeki), a fish with bright red in its mouth and on its throat and chest; the Jack Dempsey (C. biocellatum), a rather large, dark fish spotted with blue green; the oscar (Astronotus ocellatus), an attractive fish with an orange-ringed black spot on its tail base; and the discus (Symphysodon (discus fish) discus), a very deep bodied fish streaked with blue. Another popular aquarium fish of this group is the angelfish (q.v.), or scalare (Pterophyllum). A notable cichlid is Tilapia mossambica, a prolific African species that is now cultivated in many regions as a source of food.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • cichlid — noun /ˈsɪklɪd/ Any of many tropical fish, of the family Cichlidae, popular as aquarium fish …   Wiktionary

  • cichlid — [ sɪklɪd] noun Zoology a perch like freshwater fish of a large tropical family (Cichlidae). Origin C19: from mod. L. Cichlidae, from Gk kikhlē, denoting a kind of fish …   English new terms dictionary

  • cichlid — cich·lid …   English syllables

  • cichlid — cich•lid [[t]ˈsɪk lɪd[/t]] n. ich any freshwater fish of the family Cichlidae of South America, Africa, and S Asia, superficially resembling the American sunfishes and popular in home aquariums • Etymology: 1880–85; < NL Cichlidae <… …   From formal English to slang

  • cichlid — /ˈsɪklɪd/ (say siklid) noun any of the Cichlidae, a family of spiny rayed, freshwater fishes of South America, Africa, and southern Asia; often kept in home aquariums. {New Latin Cichlidae, plural, from Greek kichlē kind of sea fish} –cichloid… …  

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