Unidentified Cichlids • Labled as Red Sajica at LFS, but unsure

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Labled as Red Sajica at LFS, but unsure

Postby stevezx2002 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:26 pm

I went to my LFS today to kill some time and they had a tank full of fish labled Red Sajica. I asked the manager a little bit about them and he said he wasn't sure that they were red sajica's and that is just what the guy that sold them to him said they were. They have been there a few months as they came in as 1" fry, they are now 2-3" and starting to show some neat colors.
Sorry for the cell phone pics, but thats all I had.
Does anyone know for sure what they are?


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Postby bernie comeau » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:11 pm

Well the black marking on the top of the gill plate is a marking typical of the convict cichlid ----can't find any picture of a sajica, anywhere, with such a marking. The fishes seem to exhibit a broken y-bar ( in a somewhat faded state) close to the head, which is a trait of a convict cichlid, not sajica. Usually sajica exhibit a t-bar on the middle of the body, even as juveniles, hence the name t-bar cichlid, but none of these fish are showing any sighn of a t-bar.

I think they are some type of convict cross; at least that is my guess. It is always possible that they are some type of unusual strain of convict; one of it's many regional variants, though I highly doubt it. The head and mouth shape seem fairly odd and would be sort of unusual for a convict. The large black spots on the body of a CA cichlid are usually stripes that are not being fully exhibited (changes with mood of the fish), but looking at those spots, the striping would seem sort of odd for a convict, and even stranger for a sajica.
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Postby stevezx2002 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:21 pm

I know they didn't look like the sajica's I had seen online. I have a pair of black cons that also look nothing like this exept for body shape. I really like the blue eyes these cichlids have, they all have orange bellies like the female con does. The bars have never been dark any of the times I have been in the LFS, and they don't have much color to there fins like my cons.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:34 pm

I think there is some Thorichthys sp? in there but not sure which one or how much.
Your right they sure do not look like normal Cryptoheros sajica/Archocentrus sajica to me but I have not seen many line bred ones here.

Sorry just a guess not a firm ID.

All the best James
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Postby a7oneal » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:24 pm

I think I'm in agreement with a mix or a misidentification. Even at reasonably small sizes, like an inch an a half, the group of sajicas I used to have were very distinctly sajicas.

I've heard of line-bred blue variants (European, I believe), but not line-bred red variants... that doesn't mean that there isn't one, just that I haven't heard about it.
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Postby Chromedome52 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:19 pm

I've seen photos of this fish before, on a more "scientifically oriented" Cichlidae forum. Last year sometime, perhaps. It would take days to find the exact thread over there, but I seem to recall that it was claimed to be a recently collected wild population, Cryptoheros spilurus maybe. Certainly not a sajica.
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Postby dwarfpike » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:00 pm

Are you thinking of the red spilurus Chromedome52? The ones that might be Cryptoheros chetumalensis? From the Rio Sarstoon?
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Postby bernie comeau » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:28 am

It would be good if someone had a link to a thread showing a picture of this strain of C. spilirum or C. chetumalensis ( recently described species out of what used to be considered one of C. spilirum 's regional variants). With out a picture to match it to, it's very difficult to identify it.

So many different strains of Cryptoheros (regional variants or as of yet unclassified species, depending on your perspective) and with out a picture to match it to, it's sometimes next to impossible to identify. Fishes that don't have a picture yet in any literature are usually pretty rare in the hobby. Usually if you can't match it to anything, some sort of cross seems likely as CA hybrids are fairly common in the hobby.

The fish does have blue eyes ---- fits with C. spilirum. The head and face fit better with C. spilirum then it does with a convict, IMO. But the bars, markings and coloration are certainly quite different then any spilirum I have ever owned, seen, or viewed on internet or seen in books. If it really is a regional variant of C. spilirum, I think it should be pretty easy to distinguish it from other strains of spilirum or cutteri :lol: An odd thing about this fish: counting the bars in the same manner, convicts have 7 bars, spilirum 7-8, but this fish only has 6 bars.
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Postby Dotti90 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:05 am

they kinda look like what my pet store calls firemouths
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Postby bernie comeau » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:16 pm

Well here, I found a thread with a fish that is claimed to be C. chetumalensis. Looks exactly like a regular spilirum, except it has some red blotches on it. Certainly not the same fish as the ones in question.

bernie comeau
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Postby bernie comeau » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:18 pm

Another link to a thread showing pictures of fish, that some have thought to be Cryptoheros chetumalensis, but may very well be a different fish, Cryptoheros. sp. "red fin" (either a regional variant of C. spilirum or an undescribed species). The real C. chetumalensis might be the pictures farther down in the last post, and possibly the photo of the ones said to be in breeding dress, or maybe not.


Again, at least to my eyes, doesn't apear to be the same fish, as the one's in question in this thread. The orange on the belly of these fish look more like what one might see on the belly of a female convict cichlid. It looks sort of spotted rather then a blended in color like the one's in the link. The color apears to be in a different place but is also absent where the fish in the links have reddish color. The black marking on the top of the gill pate is a marking of a convict cichlid ----- can't find any pictures of a spilirum or a spilirum -type fish with a marking like that. One of the fishes in question has a very odd head and face shape,of the sort that makes one suspect it is a hybrid. If I had to guess, I would say the fish might be a convict X spilirum cross, but that's just a guess as i am really not too sure what the fish really is.
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