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Julidochromis transcriptus have transitive inference

Julidochromis transcriptus

Julidochromis transcriptus “kissi Bemba”. Photo by Dave Hansen

A new study using Julidochromis transcriptus showed that these Tanganyikan cichlids have the ability to make decisions about unknown factors based on experiences and observations. They can conclude the outcome of a fight against an opponent they’ve never fought based on transitive inference. This type of decision making ability was not though possible from fish.

In the experiment, two Julidochromis transcriptus were put together and allowed to fight until a winner was determined. The loser was separated but able to see the fish it fought. If the fish it fought lost to a third fish, the original loser would avoid a confrontation with the third fish. If the original losing fish was put together with a winning fish from a fight it did not witness, it would not avoid confrontation. To read more about this study, see the article in Frontiersin.org.

Telmatochromis sp. “red cheek”


Telmatochromis sp. “red cheek”. Photo by Dave Hansen

Telmatochromis sp. “red cheek” has not been formally described but its colorful cheeks and personality have made it very popular with hobbyist. Finding them in stores or online can be difficult but not impossible. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information about this particular variant. Like other Telmatochromis, the sp. “red cheek” is a shell dwelling Tanganyika cichlid. What they lack in size they make up with attitude. These fish can be aggressive, particularly when guarding their home or young fry. Because of their physical differences, they can be kept in tanks with another shell dwelling species like ‘Lamprologus’ provided that the tank is large enough to accommodate them. To discuss Telmatochromis sp. “red cheek”, please visit the Lake Tanganyika forum.

West African cichlids video

A short video on west African cichlids. It appears to be promoting a west African cichlid event held last year.

Normally Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika footage get all the attention. However, there is a video out there that is perfect for fans of west African cichlids. Above is what I assume is a series of short clips from the video. It contains specimens of Tilapia, Sarotherodon, Hemichromis and many other species. The underwater footage shows different species in their natural habitat protecting their territories and offspring. If anyone knows where this video can be purchased, make sure to let other west African fans know in the West African forum.

west african cichlids

Tilapia joka from West Africa. Photo by Dave Hansen

Haplochromis cyaneus from Lake Victoria

Haplochromis cyaneus

Haplochromis cyaneus. Photo by Greg Steeves

Haplochromis cyaneus, originally known as Haplochromis sp. “blue rockpicker”, was found in the southeastern part of Lake Victoria. The collection points for this fish was around Makobe Island. Unfortunately, like many species from Lake Tanganyika, H. cyaneus has not been seen in its native waters for a few years. To make matters worse, the species has also been disappearing from the hobby.

It is these situations where organizations like the C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program are so important. When it may already be too lake to preserve the fish in its native habitat, hobbyists can insure the continued survival of the species by housing, breeding and distributing fish. You can read more about the C.A.R.E.S. in the article by Lee Ann Steeves; C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program.

A special thanks to Greg Steeves from AfricanCichlids.net for his wonderful Haplochromis cyaneus photograph.

Species Profiles getting more content

species profiles

The Species Profiles section is adding new content! Over that last couple months, many new images have been added to the already great catalog of images. There have also been some corrections to reflect reclassification of species and all new profiles. These changes happen periodically and here at Cichlid-Forum try to keep up. Comments have also been updated on some species.

The Species Profiles section has been here since the site began. You’ll notice the new images reflect improvements in digital photography quality. You may not find new pictures for specific species, but hopefully over time, they will be added to all species. Check out the Profiles, you might just find that the fish you’ve been interested in has a new picture.

Lithochromis xanthopteryx from Lake Victoria

Lithochromis xanthopteryx

Lithochromis xanthopteryx. Photo by Dave Hansen

Despite all the species lost in Lake Victoria, Lithochromis xanthopteryx is still believed to inhabit Mwanza Gulf in southern Lake Victoria. Unfortunately, decrease water visibility has made it difficult to determine just how well this species is holding up. It is the same water clarity issues, caused by runoff, that pose a danger to the continued survival of L. xanthopteryx.

In the wild, Lithochromis xanthopteryx lives around steep rocky slopes consuming mostly insect larva, small fishes and some cyanobacteria. This species can be aggressive to other species, but more so to other L. xanthopteryx. Four foot tanks with plenty of hiding places are recommended. As this species matures, the body color becomes almost black while the fins become a bright, almost red orange. This species can be discussed in the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.

Unusual fish discovered off Sydney coast

unusual fish

Scaleless black fish. Photo by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

This fish is definitely not a cichlid, but its discovery along with other unusual fish found in an extinct undersea volcano are worth noting. The discovery of the fish is only part of the story. An undersea mapping expedition revealed four previously unknown undersea volcanoes just 200 miles off the coast of Sydney. The discovery of the volcanoes and juvenile fish challenges previous notions of where young fish develop. It was previously thought that most young fish developed in coastal estuaries. Undersea volcanoes and other seamounts or oceanic ridges may provide places where young fish can begin their lives.

To read more about the discoveries and see more pictures of these unusual fish, visit DailyMail.com.

Neolamprologus tretocephalus from Lake Tanganyika

Neolamprologus tretocephalus

Neolamprologus tretocephalus. Photo by Dave Hansen

Neolamprologus tretocephalus is a predatory fish that makes its home along mixed zones of rocks and sand. Its primary food sources are snails and small mollusks, but small fish and fry will not be passed up. N. tretocephalus, trets for short, are highly aggressive fish that rarely play well with others. Tank mates should be carefully chosen, not only for compatibility but also for dietary requirements. Being a predator, trets need foods high in protein. Tank mates should be similarly sized fish that can occupy different zones of the aquarium.

Trets are cave spawners and both parents will aggressively protect their territory and young. Sexing trets is difficult and it is best to obtain a small group and look out for a pair to form. Once paired, others should be removed from tank. Because of their aggressive nature, trets are not always recommended for beginner hobbyists. To discuss Neolamprologus tretocephalus, visit the Lake Tanganyika forum.

Lake Malawi export business video

The BBC has put out a short video report on the fish export business in Lake Malawi.

Titled Malawi’s fishy export business, the report shows the collection part of the fish trade from the perspective of David Nkwazi, managing director of Stuart M. Grant Limited. Stuart Grant was one of the first fish collectors in Lake Malawi. 40 years later, his collection business is still going strong and also does diving tours in the lake. The Stuart M. Grant Cichlid Conservation Fund strives to preserve the natural resources of Lake Malawi through responsible fish collecting and stopping illegal fishing.

lake malawi

Screen capture from BBC report.

Tilapia bythobates (Coptodon)

Tilapia bythobates

Tilapia (Coptodon) bythobates. Photo by Greg Steeves

Tilapia bythobates is endemic to a tiny volcanic Lake Bermin in Cameroon. Although not officially classified, the species commonly goes by the name Coptodon bythobates. Like other volcanic lake cichlids in the region, T. bythobates lives in low-oxygen waters and is in constant danger of CO2 poisoning from gases released by the volcano. In other crater lakes, volcanic gases have not only killed the lake’s inhabitants, but people and wildlife in the surrounding area. This CO2 releases along with deforestation and agricultural runoff have put this species in the critically endangered category.

Tilapia bythobates is extremely rare in the hobby. When not breeding they are mild mannered and get along well with other non-aggressive species. Aggression does intensify during spawning. A special thanks to Greg Steeves from AfricanCichlids.net for allowing us to use his photo. To discuss Tilapia (Coptodon) bythobates, please visit the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.

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