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Cryptoheros spilurus

Blue Eyed Cichlid, Jade Eyed Cichlid
Synonyms: Archocentrus spilurus, Cichlasoma spilurus

Below: A female Cryptoheros spilurum in Breeding color.

Meaning of Name:

Genus- crypto= refers to breeding habits of fish (Greek), heros= original type genus (Greek).

Species- spilo= spot (Gree), uros= tail (Greek). This refers to the spot in the tail of the fish, which is unique for the genus.


The Blue Eyed cichlid is a fun Central to keep. Not attaining much size, they are pugnacious like other members of this genus. This fish, first typed by Gunther and Albert was originally found in Lago Izabel, has a relatively wide distribution in the wild, and in the hobby.


Cryptoheros spilurus is found in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. This fish is usually found in Lakes throughout these regions.

Size-Maturity-Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males-6 inches, Females-4.5inches
Maturity: 3 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females, and attain trailers to the anal and dorsal fin.

Below: A Male Blue Eyed Cichlid. Photo by Sam Borstein.


Cryptoheros spilurus is an easy fish to keep. They are aggressive, and can dominate a tank, but can also be kept with a vast amount of other fish. I like keeping mine with larger malawi haps. The haps know when they need to stay away, and both fish tend to leave each other alone.

A problem that one encounters with this fish is the conspecific aggression. The fish can be rough on each other, but when a pair bond is formed, they are usually very strong.


Cryptoheros spilurus is an omnivore, and will accept almost any food offered. This fish will get into breeding condition much faster if offered bloodworms.


The Blue Eyed Cichlid was easy to breed. The main trouble I encountered with this fish is the male wanting to spawn, and the female not yet being ready to. The females take a while to get into breeding condition. The fish had their tubes down for about a week before they spawned.

The pair usually defend the eggs with no problem. The fry, which can range in numbers from 100-500 are small, and well defended. The fry are easily raised on baby brine shrimp.


The Blue Eyed cichlid is a nice fish to keep. It doesn't have much color, but fills a tank up nice. I is also easy to breed, and the fish are good parents. You may find this fish at a pet shop, but you are more likely to see it around your local club.