The genus Amphilophus was founded in 1859 by Agassiz. The genus name Amphilophus is a compound of Amphi = on both sides and lophus = thickening referring to the thick lips of the type species Amphilophus labiatus.

The first description by Agassiz was not very extensive and gave no indications about the characteristics of this genus. In 1906 Regan did describe this feature. They have a protruding muzzle, upper jaw does not extend beyond the edge of the eye. They have long pectoral fins and on the flank, you can see 5 to 9 vertical bands.


All Amphilophus species come from Central America. Three species occur on the Pacific side. On the Atlantic side, only Amphilophus citrinellus can be found. The rest of the species inhabit the crater lakes in Nicaragua.

Amphilophus species
The genus currently has about 17 species. Below you will find the list of species that we have not yet included in the database. Below, with photos of the ones that were included.

  • Amphilophus chancho
  • Amphilophus flaveolus
  • Amphilophus margaritifer
  • Amphilophus sagittae
  • Amphilophus tolteca


Louis Agassiz. 1859 – “Remarks on new fishes from Lake Nicaragua”. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History. v. 6; pages 407-408
Regan, Charles Tate. 1906 “Pisces”. Biologia Centrali Americana. pp. 17-31

Amphilophus hogaboomorum - female

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