Archocentrus sp. 'Honduran Red Point' male

Archocentrus sp. ‘Honduran Red Point’

Red Point Convict Cichlid

Convict cichlids and I go waaaaay back!  I kept the nominant form, A. nigrofaciatus, when I was a kid.  Although  Achrocentrus sp. ‘Honduran Red Point’, introduced to aquarists in 2002, is currently designated as an unamed species, it is likely a geographically and morphologically distinct pouplation of A. nigrofaciatus.

Below, my starter group of juveniles showing more color as they reach the sub-adult stage.

When they were new!

Aside from the physical differences; A. sp. ‘HRP’ being slightly smaller and more colorful, I do notice behavioral differences.   As cichlids go,  A. nigrofaciatus tend toward the extreme high end on the scale of aggression, and can be down-right merciless toward other aquarium inhabitants whether or not they are breeding.  HRPs seem to be a little less brutal.  They quarrel constantly among themselves, are fierce defenders of their spawns and broods,  but seem to have a higher tolerance for non-conspecifics.  The breeders  defend their respective territories more much vigorously against each other than against the other aquarium inhabitants.   For example, female HRPs guarding their broods are almost badger-like in their attacks at the very sight of other HRPs, making ample sight barriers are a must, while  the Metynnis (Silver Dollars), and plecostomus can wander fairly close to breeding sites and even linger a for a short while before being chased off.  The attacks on these other species are also much less agressive.    Further, while I have known A. nigrofaciatus to be great co-parents, with my group of HRPs I observe that the females are the primary protectors of the broods while the males keep the parimeters “somewhat” clear.    Being no strict practitioners of monogamy, they’ll wander over to their breeding sites to  check in on the female and the spawn from time to time, but they will also sometimes start other families  with different females in different parts of the aquarium.