The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Amphilophus trimaculatus
Amphilophus trimaculatus
(Threespot Cichlid)

Copyright Info
Amphilophus trimaculatus (Günther, 1867)

Common name: Threespot Cichlid

Synonyms and Other Names: red eyed cichlid

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Identifying characteristics were given by Conkel (1993). Color photographs appeared in Loiselle (1980a), Konings (1989), Conkel (1993), and Axelrod (1993). Other names include Heros trimaculatus and Herichthys trimaculatus.

Size: 36.5 cm SL (Conkel 1993).

Native Range: Pacific slope drainages of Middle America from Laguna Coyuca, Mexico to the Río Lempa, El Salvador (Loiselle 1980a; Conkel 1993).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Amphilophus trimaculatus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL197519932Manatee; Tampa Bay
TX202220221Middle Brazos-Palo Pinto

Table last updated 7/19/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Means of Introduction: Probable aquarium release (Courtenay and Stauffer 1990).

Status: The Florida populations was first discovered in the mid-1970s (Shafland 1976); it was eradicated by personnel of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission in 1975 (Courtenay and Stauffer 1990). The status of the Hillsborough Co. population is uncertain but it is probably no longer extant as no additinoal collections have been reported. The only published information on the Nevada introductions was an abbreviated account given by Robins et al. (1991b).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: According to Loiselle (1980a), the morphology and behavior of this species is almost indistinguishable from amphilophus of the C. labiatum group. It is common in the aquarium trade (Loiselle 1980a).

Voucher specimens: Florida (UF 92207; 98919).

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Bill Loftus

Revision Date: 7/12/2012

Peer Review Date: 7/12/2012

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Bill Loftus, 2024, Amphilophus trimaculatus (Günther, 1867): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=452, Revision Date: 7/12/2012, Peer Review Date: 7/12/2012, Access Date: 7/19/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/19/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.