Poor man's tropheus
|Breeding (left) and normal colouration (right).|
The poor man's tropheus (Hypsophrys nematopus, formerly Neetroplus nematopus) is a species of fish in the family Cichlidae. It was formerly the only species in the genus Neetroplus, but in 2007 was reclassified into the genus Hypsophrys. It is a small-medium-sized cichlid growing to a length of 12 cm. It occurs in Central America in Lake Xiloá, Lake Managua, Lake Masaya and Lake Nicaragua and in riverine habitats on the Atlantic coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Like most Central American cichlids the species is commonly found in hard, alkaline (pH 7.5) water. Its diet consists of algae and plant material which it scrapes from rocks and other hard surfaces in a fashion similar to algal grazing cichlids of Lake Malawi, Africa. Some populations are reportedly involved in cleaning other fish of parasites. It also eats chironomid larvae, and is more efficient at winnowing through soft sediment on the river-bed than might be expected from the shape of its snout, moving large quantities of sand with its mouth and sweeping sand away with its fins and tail.
It uses the same skills when excavating a hole for its nest. Like all cichlids, brood care is highly developed with both parents involved in fry raising. Colouration changes dramatically (see pictures) while breeding.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). Species of Neetroplus in FishBase. May 2006 version.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Neetroplus nematopus" in FishBase. May 2006 version.
- "Convict and Jack Dempsey placed in new genera". Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
- López-Fernández, Hernán; Arbour, Jessica; Willis, Stuart; Watkins, Crystal; Honeycutt, Rodney L.; Winemiller, Kirk O. (2014). "Morphology and Efficiency of a Specialized Foraging Behavior, Sediment Sifting, in Neotropical Cichlid Fishes". PLOS ONE. 9: e89832. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089832. PMC . PMID 24603485.