Cuckoo Catfish The cuckoo catfish tricks cichlids into raising its fry. The cichlid is a mouthbreeder—it carries and protects the fry in its mouth until they are big enough to fend for themselves. After a cichlid has laid eggs, the cuckoo catfish darts in and lays her eggs among the host eggs, and the cichlid later scoops up and incubates all the eggs. Cuckoo catfish eggs hatch before the host eggs, which the catfish fry then consume. The catfish fry live, undetected, in the host's mouth until they are big enough to survive on their own. Caption: A cuckoo catfish fry peeks out of a host cichlid's mouth.