Rio Grande Perch also known as the 'Texas Cichlid' are fairly easy to identify because they have turquoise colored spots on a very dark to light olive and can look very similiar to convict cichlids. Some of the younger or lighter specimens will have five dark bars. Rio Grande Perch have dorsal and anal fins that are long and tapered extending past the start of the tail. Another clue to a fish being a Rio Grande Perch is the anal fin will be equiped with five to six spines. Adult males sometimes develop a pronounced hump on the head.
The Rio Grande Perch is a warm water fish, and is very sensitive to cold. Spawning occurs in early spring and both parents protect their young and Rio Grande Perch are mouth breeders.
Rio Grande Perch occupy a limited range in the USA. Originally limited to the lower reaches of the Rio Grande they have now been established in a few waterways to the North. This picture to the right came from a breeding population found in the waterways around New Orleans, Louisiana. And non-breeding individuals have been caught in a number of locations across the USA.
Interestingly Rio Grande Perch develop lifelong breeding partners and are monogomous!