Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Lyon Ray
Photo Copyright Lyon Ray

The jaguar guapote or managuense cichlid, Cichlasoma managuense, is not native to Utah, but rather to Central America. The species has, however, become established in several springs and ponds in the Virgin River basin of extreme southwestern Utah. The managuense cichlid is popular with tropical fish hobbyists, and the species was probably released into Utah by a well-meaning aquarist. Unfortunately, the managuense cichlid is aggressive and predatory, and it will prey upon native fishes if given the chance.

The managuense cichlid's coloration is mottled black on white, and individuals can grow to over a foot in length. Cichlids are similar in body form to sunfishes and basses, and are therefore highly maneuverable. The physical similarities between North American sunfishes and basses and Central and South American cichlids results in these fishes behaving in ecologically similar manners.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.