Black Acaria: Cichlasoma bimaculatum
Small, stout, convex-headed, bream-looking body-shape with two black blotches on side, the larger blotch at mid-body and a smaller one near base of tail; color variable with gray-blue-silver-brown base, sometimes with light blue-green sheen.
Most common in shallow, stagnant, roadside ditches or similarly disturbed habitats that normally contain few other fishes; infrequent in larger canals and lakes; early success of this fish in Florida led to an erroneous conclusion that it would have significant negative effects on native fishes.
Spawning Habitats: Both parents guard the young; nearly all sexually mature by four inches; spawns throughout the year laying an average of about 1,000 eggs.
Feeding Habits: Fish remains were found in nearly half the stomachs examined, along with aquatic insects, plant material, snails, and detritus.
Age and Growth:
Maximum size about eight inches and weight about four ounces.
Sometimes provides a good kid's fishery when found in small pond without many predators; no bag or size limits.
Too small to be of much value.
Image Credit: Diane Peebles