Chromidotilapia guntheri from West Africa

Chromidotilapia guntheri

Chromidotilapia guntheri with fry. Photo by Michael Negrini CC BY-SA 3.0.

Chromidotilapia guntheri is a unique cichlid with widespread distribution along the coastal basin of West Africa. There is also a critically endangered subspecies, C. guntheri loennbergi, found in and around the Barombi-ba-Kotto crater lake.

In the aquarium Chromidotilapia guntheri are best kept as a pair with other non-aggressive or predatory fish. Despite reaching 7+ inches in length, C. guntheri don’t do well when housed with aggressive fish. A unique characteristic of this species is that they are paternal mouthbrooders. After the eggs are deposited by the female and fertilized by the male, the male picks them up and broods them until they are ready to be released. During this time the female defends their territory. Once the fry are free-swimming, both parents will care for them and take them into their mouths when needed.

To discuss this unique species visit the West African Species forum. There is also a short article by Duc Nguyen in the library.

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