I photographed these fish in the Everglades. They don't belong there, but some people are glad that they are. Why?


These are Mayan Cichlids. They are native to the eastern coast of South America and Central America, but have been introduced into Florida. They threaten to outcompete native species, as they are very tolerant of changing levels of salt and oxygen, which lets them adapt to the seasonal changes that the Everglades go through.

In spite of that, many fishermen love them, as they are terrific fighters and are excellent for eating, with firm, white, mild tasting flesh.