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Labidochromis sp. “gigas mara”

Labidochromis sp.

Labidochromis sp. “gigas mara”. Photo by Ad Konings

It’s probably safe to say that anyone who has ever had a Lake Malawi mbuna tank has at one point or another kept at least one Labidochromis caeruleus. Commonly known as a yellow lab, the L. caeruleus with its bright yellow color and mild temperament is a mainstay of many hobbyist’s aquariums. Aside from the yellow lab and maybe a Labidochromis sp. “Hongi”, most hobbyists have little experience with other Labidochromis species. However, the variety of colors and sizes of other Labidochromis species should not be overlooked. For instance, the Labidochromis sp. “gigas mara” pictured above is a perfect example of the different varieties of Labidochromis available. Granted, most stock lists won’t include much more than the yellow labs or Hongi, but some importers and breeders do have them available. They add wonderful colors and make for interesting discussion. As an added bonus, they are less likely to cross-breed with your Pseudotropheus.

To see some pictures of the other Labidochromis species from Lake Malawi, visit the Labidochromis Profiles page.

Aquatic Experience in Chicago

aquatic experience

Following their debut event last year which drew thousands of attendees, Aquatic Experience is hosting their second show in Chicago on November 7-9. The event will bring together many of the largest aquarium product manufacturers under one roof. Expect to see products and exhibits for all types of aquarium fish, not just cichlids. Tickets for the event start at $10 per day to get you in the door, with additional packages that include access to all seminars. This is a must-see event if you are or will be in the Chicago area the weekend of the show. For more information on Aquatic Experience, visit their website http://aquaticexperience.org

Pelvicachromis taeniatus group gets revision

Pelvicachromis taeniatus

Pelvicachromis drachenfelsi sp. Photos from journal publication.

A recent publication might be shaking up the naming of the Pelvicachromis taeniatus group. Pelvicachromis is a genus of colorful, small cichlids found mostly in the streams of West Africa. A resent study by Anton Lamboj, Daniela Bartel & Emiliano Dell’Ampio using coloration and DNA comparisons proposes that all the variants of Pelvicachromis taeniatus are in fact two different species. According to the study, the Pelvicachromis found in Cameroon should be classified as Pelvicachromis taeniatus.

The study can be found HERE. If you would like to see more pictures of Pelvicachromis, make sure the visit the Species Profiles.

New article highlights Haplochromines

new article

Lithochromis rufus from Mwanza. Photo by Don Greg Steeves

A new article has been added to the Library highlighting some of the “Haplochromines” that have become available in the hobby. Despite most of the attention on Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika cichlids, Lake Victoria Basin cichlids have been in the hobby for over 50 years. Since then many species have been collected and introduced into North America and Europe. Some of which are believed to be extinct in their native waters. If you’d like to learn more the history of “Haplochromines” in the hobby and see some great photos of some rare specimens, check out the New to the hobby Haplochromines article by Don Greg Steeves.

Oil exploration set to begin in Lake Malawi

oil exploration

Nkhata Bay, Lake Malawi. Photo by JackyR. CC BY-SA 3.0

Shortly after a call for referendum on oil exploration in Lake Malawi, a UAE oil company was given the go-ahead to begin looking for oil. Hamra Oil Holdings Limited, based in the United Arab Emirates, will begin exploration in various districts along Lake Malawi. Most notably is Nkhata Bay, where many cichlids popular in the hobby can only be found. They include Cynotilapia zebroides Nkhata Bay, Labidochromis caeruleus Nkhata Bay and Aulonocara sp. “Chitande Type North”. Oil exploration poses an additional threat to these and many other species of cichlids in Lake Malawi. To read about this developing story, visit the article on the Nyasa Times website.

Tropheus moorii “Murago Tanzania” video

A new video from African Diving Ltd in their Lake Tanganyika Cichlids in the Wild series. This video focuses mostly on the Tropheus moorii “Murago Tanzania” variant.

This stunning in the wild video not only talks about Tropheus in general, but also tells a story of a particular variant of Tropheus moorii. T. moorii “Murago” is a variant with unusual bright spots on its head. Its collection location was a closely guarded secret. Then one day a similar looking variant was found on the opposite side of the lake and named Tropheus moorii “Murago Tanzania”. Whether you are a fan of Tropheus or not, this video has some great footage and is a must-see for all cichlid fans. To find out more about Tropheus, visit the Tropheus Corner in the Library.

Tropheus moorii

Tropheus moorii “Murago Tanzania”. Screen capture from African Diving Ltd video.

Apistogramma ortegai described

Apistogramma ortegai

Apistogramma ortegai. Male (top) and female (bottom). Photos from publication.

A new species of Apistogramma has been described in a publication by Ricardo Britzke, Claudio Oliveira & Sven O. Kullander. Titled Apistogramma ortegai (Teleostei: Cichlidae), a new species of cichlid fish from the Ampyiacu River in the Peruvian Amazon basin, this species brings together what was thought to be two separate species; Apistogramma sp. “Pebas” and “Papagei”. The differences between the two weren’t significant enough for them to be considered two separate species.

Apistogramma is a genus consisting of about 100 separate species found in the rivers and streams of South America. They are very colorful and can be housed in smaller tanks. For more information on Apistogramma, take a look at all the South American Dwarf articles in the Library.

Thorichthys maculipinnis – A Pair is Born videos

A video playlist of Thorichthys maculipinnis beginning with courting and nest building all the way to free-swimming fry. The first part of the playlist can be seen below.

Thorichthys maculipinnis, commonly known as Elliot’s cichlid, can be found in the waters of southern Mexico. T. maculipinnis belongs to the same Genus as Thorichthys meeki (firemouth cichlid) but it isn’t as common in the hobby. These fish aren’t very aggressive except when it comes to breeding and caring for their young. As you can see from watching the entire Playlist, the pair will not tolerate other fish when it comes to their young. The three videos were made by Adam Klimczak (Iggy Newcastle on the forum) and the complete playlists can be found HERE.

Thorichthys maculipinnis

Thorichthys maculipinnis. Photo by Adam Klimczak

Convict cichlid shows flaw in aggression studies

Convict cichlid

Convict cichlids. Photo by Deanpemberton CC BY-SA 3.0

A study involving Amatitlania nigrofasciata, commonly known as the convict cichlid, has shown a flaw in past aggression studies. It seems that some fish aren’t so easily fooled by their own reflections. Mirrors have been used in studies to evaluate the aggressiveness of certain species. A. nigrofasciata’s seems to realize that its reflection is not a rival and it behaves accordingly. Because the convict cichlid does not display the same type of behavior toward its own reflection than it does a real rival, it might indicate that fish have a much higher cognitive ability than what scientist previously thought. If that is the case, it could jeopardize behavior studies involving mirrors.

To read more about the study, visit Nature World News. If you would like to learn more about Amatitlania nigrofasciata, read the Species Article by Brett Harrington.

Tropheus duboisi just want to have fun

Tropheus duboisi

Tropheus duboisi. Photo by Manfred Werner CC BY-SA 3.0

A recent study by Gordon Burghardt at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has found that fish, in particular Tropheus duboisi, like to play too. Playful behavior is often only associated with mammals, but play can also be seen in reptiles and invertebrates.

In a statement by Burghardt:

“Play is repeated behavior that is incompletely functional in the context or at the age in which it is performed and is initiated voluntarily when the animal or person is in a relaxed or low-stress setting,”

Out of the many cichlid species looked at, Tropheus duboisi seemed to enjoy play the most. As is all too common now, the study is behind a pay wall. Fortunately you can find a little information about it here and here. If you want to know more about T. duboisi, take a look at the Species Article.

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