Please read before asking if you have a Midas or Red Devil

Jason_S

Polypterus
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Oct 5, 2005
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There have been a lot of threads lately from people asking if their fish is a Midas (Amphilophus citrinellum) or Red Devil (Amphilophus labiatum). A lot of these threads have pics of juvenile or sub adult fish. Trying to determine the identity of an adult fish is difficult enough, but these fish as juveniles look very similar to one another.

Here's the problem with these questions. It is impossible to simply eyeball a fully grown adult fish and determine 100% if it's A. labiatum or A. citrinellum. For far too many years, these two species have been crossed by breeders and farms all over the world. Some of these people may not have known the difference between the two while others simply may not have cared.

Either way, the fish commonly found in lfs and chain stores are most likely going to be hybrids of the two species. I don't recall who it was but someone on this site coined the term 'Midevil" for these fish and it's starting to stick. That's essentially how any "Red Devil" or "Midas" purchases from an lfs should be treated...as a hybrid of the two.

Add to the above the fact that other species of the Red Devil complex (such as A. xiloaensis, A. sagittae etc) are becoming more available, there's no telling how much more hybridization will occur with these closely-related species. We may eventually have to start calling them Midexiloittae.

The only way to know for sure is to get your fish from a reputable source. There are many reputable sources around such as Cichlid Connection, Jeff Rapps, Don Conkel, Ken Davis and I'm sure many others.

If you simply would like to know which yours more closely resembles, then here are some of the known characteristics.

A. citrinellum is typically going to be proportionally taller-bodied and a thicker, stockier fish. Midas will have a shorter snout with lips that (when viewed from above) will have more of a U shape. Midas are also likely to grow a larger nuchal hump.

A. labiatum is typically going to be a proportionally longer fish than it is tall. Red devils are a more stream-lined fish that doesn't quite attain the bulk that a Midas does. The lips, when viewed from above, are going to be more of a V-shape and the snout is a little longer than a midas. Wild fish typically have enlarged lips due to their specialized feeding habits. This usually goes away in captivity.

A. sagittae is, as far as I know, very similar to A. labiatum in that it is a longer bodied fish that does not get quite as bulky. A. sagittae is more of an open-water predator.

A. xiloaensis is, as far as I know, more closely related to Midas in that they are a bulkier, taller-bodied fish.
 

DCOWBOYS

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Aug 16, 2010
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Where the Parachromis roam...
I found this thread extremly helpful,thank you.At my local LFS you can actually see the differenceses in the RD's and Midas being sold as RD's in the same tank.
 

Chicklette

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Jun 19, 2010
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Usually they are mixed, it's hard to find a PURE RD or midas.
 

mike b

Candiru
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Nov 30, 2008
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I have both variants though not in the same tank of course my labiatum came from Rapps and my midas from a buddy who got theparents from Rapps
 

mou86afa

Feeder Fish
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Aug 23, 2009
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nice thread ....

midevil as u call them are now everywhere i never see a pure red devil - for a long time - in our LFS or local fish farms even some LFS lately got another fish and labeled it as rd devil coz no one have seen the rd devil beside the midas or the midevil in reality to get the different between ....

the main and the biggest problem in mdevil "i like the name" is they took all the properties from midas and red devil so u can see the big lips and a big kok a wide bodies

i read a nice article on oscarfish forum
here some pic. he used to compare between midas and red devil by using Jeff Rapps (tangledupincichlids)'s pic
written & photo editing by ~Rush~




A. labiatus (left) and A. citrinellus (right)


A. labiatus (left) and A. citrinellus (right)


A. labiatus (left) and A. citrinellus (right)


A. labiatus (left) and A. citrinellus (right)


thanks for that gr8 article
 

Jason_S

Polypterus
MFK Member
Oct 5, 2005
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those are great examples of true specimens of each species. I"ve always been particularly fond of the labiatus in the top-left corner and the piebald citrinellum. :)
 

HybridGS

Feeder Fish
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Nov 3, 2010
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The issue of 'what is my fish' is as obvious as it gets, the reason why people ask is because of the amount of hybrids going around.

If you had a pure breed of either fish, you would know what you had.
 
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elting44

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Oct 8, 2007
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mark377;4594976; said:
I believe this thread should be a sticky before it ends up on page 100.
Agreed, this needs to be stickied

Nice work Jason
 
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