Geophagus surinamensis
(Bloch 1791)
Family Cichlidae

Lateral view of a redstriped eartheater
This redstriped eartheater was collected in Miami-Dade County, Florida in 1994. This fish is now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection, UF 96391. Photo courtesy of Leo G. Nico, U.S Geological Survey.

The redstriped eartheater is a member of the cichlid and tilapia family. This species has a compressed, deep-bodied shape and a long snout. A steeply sloped head profile is present, and it has a highly protrusible mouth that projects downward when extended. A series of brassy stripes extends along the side from the head to the caudal fin, and there is a large black blotch located mid-laterally. This species has a prominent and flattened lobe-like expansion found on the lower limb of the first gill arch. The anal fin has three spines and the caudal fin is slightly emarginated. The redstriped eartheater can be found in canals with limestone and sand substrates and little to no current.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Non-indigenous freshwater
  • Florida Distribution — Peninsula drainages
  • River Drainages — the Everglades
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