Sam Borstein's Cichlid Page

Archocentrus centrarchus
Gill & Bransford, 1877

Flier Cichlid
Synonyms: Cichlasoma centrarchus

Flier Cichlids
Above: A Flier Cichlid. Photo by Sam Borstein.


Genus- Arch= anus (Greek), kentron= sting (Greek), Referring to the anal fin spines.
Species- centrarchus= Because of its similarity to the Flier Sunfish, a member of the Centrarchus genus.


This robust Convict type first typed by Gill and Bransford in 1877 is a great fish. This fish, similar to the Convict Cichlid, also develops great brood care and pair bonds. This fish is nicknamed the Flier Cichlid because of its similarity in body shape to the Flier (Centrarchus macropterus), a North American sunfish.

Recent phylogenetic studies have placed this species in relation to the genera Amphilophus (Concheiro Pérez et al., 2006). Whether or not the Flier Cichlid is or is not a member of Amphilophus remains to be seen.


Archocentrus centrarchus is found in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males- 6 inches, Females- 5 inches
Maturity: 3 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger and may have longer fins.


Archocentrus centrarchus is an easy fish to keep. They are not that aggressive, but since they are large, should be placed in a tank that fits their size. A single pair can be kept in a 15-20 gallon tank.


Archocentrus centrarchus is a robust fish, so it needs to be fed hardy food. I fed mine Tetra Cichlid Sticks and Spectrum.


Archocentrus centrarchus
is easy to breed. This fish goes through an amazing color change when it breeds, losing most of its color for a jet black and gray barred breeding dress. This species is a substrate spawner and will lay eggs on almost any hard surface you give them. These fish are great parents, so don't be afraid to leave the fry with the adults.

Fry are rather small and spawns can be large, between 300-500. The fry are easy to raise on crushed flake and baby brine shrimp and grow rather quickly.

Archocentrus centrarchus and fry
Above: A female Flier Cichlid with fry and in breeding color. Photo by Rick Borstein.


This large peaceful cichlid is a great beginner's fish. With their parental care they are sure to amaze you. Unfortunately this fish occasionally disappears from the hobby. If you see some at your pet store or at a club event, go grab them.