Identification of Acara (Cichlidae: Cichlasoma) established in Florida, USA

BioInvasions Records
By: , and 



The Black Acara, Cichlasoma bimaculatum (Linnaeus, 1758), was first reported as introduced to Florida in 1965. Native to Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, western French Guiana, and northern Brazil, the species is now distributed throughout Florida’s southern peninsula. Examination of live and preserved acara from Central Florida, heretofore identified as Black Acara, reveal the presence of an additional acara species, the Chanchita, Cichlasoma dimerus (Heckel, 1840). The Chanchita is native to Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Brazil, and northeastern Argentina. Despite similarities, Black Acara and Chanchita can be distinguished by number of anal-fin spines, body and fin color, caudal-fin pattern, and head, nape, and upper-flank scale-rim pigment. The Chanchita is established in multiple Central Florida drainages with the earliest known record from July 27, 2000. The Chanchita has not been found to co-occur with the Black Acara. The presence of Chanchita in more than one Central Florida spring and the widespread distribution of this previously unreported introduced species may be of concern to natural resource managers.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Identification of Acara (Cichlidae: Cichlasoma) established in Florida, USA
Series title BioInvasions Records
DOI 10.3391/bir.2020.9.1.18
Volume 9
Issue 1
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher REABIC
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 13 p.
First page 133
Last page 145
Country United States
State Florida
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