It is known as the Sonoran cichlid and the green guapote, and by the Spanish forms mojarra de Sinaloa and mojarra verde. For many years, and until fairly recently, it was very easy to get a hold of specimens of this fish. In fact, swimming wild in southern California was a small but reproductively active population, but it is now thought to be entirely extirpated. Several zoos and other institutions that either displayed the species or did research on it had many adults that actively reproduced. Often the fish reproduced with such success that the keepers were faced with hundreds, if not thousands, of fry to contend with.
This cichlid prefers clear water with moderate to strong water flow. Usually found associated with rocks and other submerged structure, it actively searches for tasty edibles by day and rests in the large cracks and crevices by night. Generally, such habitats have a slightly alkaline pH with moderate hardness. However, aquarium specimens are able to withstand quite a large variation in chemistry as long as extremes are avoided. The temperature, while tropical by definition, may be on the cooler side of the tropical temperature spectrum with averages in the low to mid 70s.