|Two extremes from the subfamily: The very large Cichla monoculus above and the tiny Teleocichla cinderella below|
This subfamily consists of approximately 117 described species as of July 2017. .
They are predatory and relatively elongated in shape. Of the three genera in the subfamily, some species of Cichla reach almost 1 m (3.3 ft) in length, making them by far the largest cichlids of South America, and among the largest cichlids anywhere. In contrast, Teleocichla species are among the smallest cichlids of South America, and most species only reach around 6 cm (2.4 in) in length. The genus Crenicichla is one of the most speciose of South American genera, with more than 120 recognized species.
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