Sunday,26 September 2021, 7 : 30 AM

Etroplus:Cichlid Genus

Etroplus Canarensis
Image Credit: Beta M


Etroplus is a small genus of cichlids native to India(Southern parts) and Sri Lanka.
These cichlids are the only cichlids found in India and Sri lanka.
Their closest living relatives are Paretroplus from Madagascar.


The Genus was first described by Cuvier in 1830.
The genus name is derived from the words 'etron' meaning belly and 'oplon' for arms.
This refers to the spines that are present on the anal fin, i.e the long spinous anal-fin.


Fish belonging to this genus have following characteristics:
  • Body is deep and compressed.
  • Mouth is small and terminal.
  • Eye are placed laterally.
  • Teeth are small and fine (villiform) and found in two or three rows in jaw.
  • There are no teeth on palate (roof of mouth).
  • Dorsal fin is inserted above pectoral fin base, with 17-22 spines and 8-15 soft rays.
    The spinous base is longer than soft rayed base.
  • A remarkable features of this family, is the development of the front part of the gas bladder and corresponding changes to the posterior of the neurocranium(back part of the skull that houses the brain) to create a direct connection between the gas bladder and inner ear .
    This feature is not seen in any other Cichlid families.
    This allows fish of this genus to have remarkable hearing power.
  • Anal fin has 12-16 spines and 6-12 soft rays.
  • Pelvic fins are located on thorax and have 16 soft rays.
  • Caudal fin is concavely curved but not forked (emarginate).
  • Scales are weakly ctenoid and are of moderate size, they extend to the base of soft dorsal and anal fins.
  • Lateral line is interrupted as in all cichlids.
  • Air bladder is large and simple.
  • There are 28 vertebra, 15 on body and 13 on tail.

Distribution & Habitat

These Cichlids are found in Costal areas of India and Sri Lanka.
They inhabit freshwater as well as brackish water.


There are 3 recognized species in this Genus

Species Name Common Name Image
Etroplus canarensis Canara Pearl spot Canara pearl Spot
Etroplus maculatus Orange Chromide macalatus
Etroplus suratensis Green Chromide Etroplus_suratensis