Are midas and red devil cichlids the same fish?

The answer is no but the nickname red devil cichlid is loosely used to refer to either. Red devil is the common name or nickname for Amphilophus labiatus, the true Red devil. Midas cichlid is the common name or nickname for Amphilophus citrinellus. Both the red devil and midas cichlid belong to the same genus; Amphilophus, but are two different species of cichlids. Generally speaking midas cichlids are much more chunky and thick with short snouts. Red devil cichlids are more slender and longer with more of a pointed snout. Additionally both of these different cichlids are from Central America.

The Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) and red devil cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus) are two popular large Central American cichlids often confused for one another. However, they are distinct species with some key differences.

While superficially similar in appearance, the Midas cichlid can be distinguished from the red devil by its brighter orange-gold coloration, especially on the belly. Midas cichlids also typically exhibit more pointed dorsal, anal, and caudal fins.

Red devils display a darker overall red shade and stockier body shape compared to Midas cichlids. Their fins tend to be more rounded on the tips. Red devil cichlids also reach a larger maximum size of around 15 inches compared to the 12 inch maximum of Midas cichlids.

The species have non-overlapping natural habitats, with Midas cichlids native to several countries in Central America and red devils found only in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. This geographic isolation led to speciation long ago.

In terms of behavior, red devil cichlids tend to be more aggressive and active compared to the slightly calmer Midas cichlid. However, both can exhibit territorial behaviors, especially while breeding.

While similar at first glance, the Midas cichlid and red devil cichlid are distinct species with key differences in coloration, body shape, size, natural range, and temperament. They offer aquarists two similar but unique options for a large, colorful cichlid wet pet.

Midas Cichlid

Amphilophus citrinellus

Devil Cichlid

Amphilophus labiatum


Midas Cichlid
Red Devil Cichlid