Originally from Lake Kyoga, Astatotilapia latifasciata evolved in a swampy area of the lake that separated it from the smaller Lake Nawampassa. Today it is believed that A. latisfasciata only survives on the Lake Nawampassa side of the swamp. The swamp itself is slowly disappearing, threatening the remaining known populations of A. latisfaciata.
Male and female Astatotilapia latifasciata
Astatotilapia latifasciata was one of the first Lake Victoria region cichlids I ever kept. Often sold under the name "zebra obliquidens" (not to be confused with Haplochromis Obliquidens or H. sp. "#44"), they still remain one of my favorite species. Both males and females have a silver body with black vertical barring. In my original group the barring started at the dorsal fin but never reached the bottom of the fish. I have seen some specimens where the barring sometimes starts at the bottom but doesn't make it to the top of the body.
While both sexes are barred, only the males have the wonderful bright red and yellow on the bottom half of the their bodies. The dominant male's colors shine while sub-dominant males don't display their colors as brightly. Mature adult males can reach up to six inches while females are slightly smaller.