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New Gymnogeophagus species described

new Gymnogeophagus

Male Gymnogeophagus lipokarenos with pronounced hump. Photo from publication.

Five new Gymnogeophagus species have been described in the Brazilian Neotropical Ichthyology journal. Gymnogeophagus are known as eartheaters for their specialized feeding behavior and are found in river basins of southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

All five new species inhabit tributaries of the Rio Uruguay and Rio Negro in Brazil and Uruguay. A detailed description of the new Gymnogeophagus can be found in the publication titled Descriptions of five new species of the Neotropical cichlid genus Gymnogeophagus Miranda Ribeiro, 1918 (Teleostei: Cichliformes) from the rio Uruguay drainage. Also available in PDF format HERE.

If you would like to learn more about Gymnogeophagus in general, there is an article titled Gymnogeophagus balzanii in the library. Discussion on Gymnogeophagus can be done in the South American Species forum.

Happy Holidays 2015 from the Cichlid-Forum staff

happy holidays

Gobiocichla wonderi. Photo by Dave Hansen

The Cichlid-Forum staff would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays. It’s been another terrific year and we would like to wish every forum member, participant and visitor a festive and safe holiday season.

I would like to take a moment to thank all the moderators who keep the forum running. Without your time and devotion this site would not exist today. Also, thanks to the support staff that addresses all of our issues. Here is to another great year in 2016.

The fish sporting the Santa hat is a Gobiocichla wonderi from West Africa. To learn more about this unusual species, visit the A West African sleeper: Gobiocichla wonderi article.

Happy Holidays!

Lipochromis sp. “Matumbi hunter” article

Lipochromis sp

Lipochromis sp. “Matumbi hunter”. Photo by Greg Steeves.

Lipochromis sp. “Matumbi hunter”, like some other Lipochromis, is a paedophageous. They feed off of other fish’s eggs and young. While Lipochromis sp. ‘Mwanza’ engulfs a female’s mouth and sucks out her eggs, L. sp. “Matumbi hunter” uses a ramming technique to force females to spit out their eggs. Greg Steeves has written a short article describing the Lipochromis and recounting when he witnessed L. sp. “Matumbi hunter’s” feeding technique. The new L. sp. “Matumbi hunter” article can be found in the library along with a couple more pictures. You might also want to check out the L. sp. ‘Mwanza’ article by the same author. Discussion on all Lipochromis can be done in the Lake Victoria Basin forum.

Aulonocara baenschi from Lake Malawi

Aulonocara baenschi

Aulonocara baenschi. Photo by Dave Hansen

Aulonocara baenschi is a stunning peacock from Lake Malawi. Males sport a bright yellow body with blue around the cheeks. Like all Aulonocara, only the males display bright colors while the females are brown with some vertical banding. A. baenschi is a little smaller than the other peacock species. In the wild along the shores of Nkhomo Reef, A. baenschi feeds be sifting through the sand looking for small creatures. In the aquarium, sand is recommended so this behavior can be seen. Males will also excavate a small depression in the sand for spawning.

In addition to a sandy substrate, a few rock formations will provide females some cover. Aulonocara baenschi should be kept in groups of one male and multiple females. Although not very aggressive, multiple males are not recommended. Other species of Aulonocara should be avoided as females look very similar and crossbreeding is a possibility. A diet high in protein is best. Discussion on Aulonocara baenschi can be done in the Lake Malawi Species forum.

Pseudocrenilabrus philander

Pseudocrenilabrus philander

Pseudocrenilabrus philander Guma Lagoon. Photo by Greg Steeves

Until a couple days ago I had never heard of Pseudocrenilabrus philander. The genus Pseudocrenilabrus is small and not very common in the hobby. A real shame since Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi and Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae are beautiful fish.

The different subspecies of Pseudocrenilabrus philander are widely distributed throughout Central and Southern Africa. Currently only 3 subspecies have been identified, P. p. philander, P. p. dispersus and P. p. luebberti. There may be up to a dozen separate populations throughout Africa. The picture above is supposed to be from Guma Lagoon in Botswana. To discuss Pseudocrenilabrus philander, visit the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.

Lake Malawi diversity explained

Lake malawi

Pseudotropheus demasoni from Lake Malawi. Photo by Dave Hansen

A new study may may shed some light on the incredible diversity of cichlids in Lake Malawi. The question of how over 1000 species evolved in a single lake may have been answered by core samples obtained through the Lake Malawi Drilling Project. Core samples from the last 1.3 million years of the lake’s history show drastic changes in water levers, pH and salinity.

Dry periods in Lake Malawi’s history have dropped waters levels over 200 meters a couple dozen times. During the low level periods, habitats changed as the water receded and fish became isolated into smaller lakes. As wetter periods returned and lake level’s rose, once isolated species once again were joined. All of these extreme changes led to fish who are also able to change in order to survive. The full, unrestricted article titled “Continuous 1.3-million-year record of East African hydroclimate, and implications for patterns of evolution and biodiversity” can be found on the National Academies of Science website.

2nd European Discus Championship video

2nd european discus

3rd Place Discus red – Marc Volders Belgium. Capture from video.

The 2nd European Discus Championship took place in Dortmund, Germany, 2014. The video below shows some of the highlights from the competition.

Discus is the common name for cichlids belonging to the Symphysodon genus. Discus originate from various rivers and lakes in the Amazon Basin. In captivity, discus have been bred to enhance particular colors and patterns like the ones seen in the video. Keeping discus is not recommended for novice hobbyists. They require more attention to water quality and diet than most other cichlid species found in the hobby. For information of discus, check out the articles written by Ryan Williams – My Experience Raising & Keeping Discus and Breeding Disucs From a Beginner’s Perspective. Discussion on discus can be done in the South American Cichlids forum.

Ptychochromis mainty from Madagascar

Ptychochromis mainty

Ptychochromis mainty from southeastern Madagascar has been described in a recent publication by Magnolia Press. Unfortunately, the article is behind yet another paywall. The first page of the article can be found HERE and some more information about P. mainty can be found on the One species a day blog.

Four specimens were collected from the Fort Dauphin region of southeastern Madagascar and are the basis for the description of Ptychochromis mainty. Most of the species of cichlids from Madagascar are at risk of extinction. Ptychochromis onilahy was once collected in 1962 and has never been seen again. A world-wide search for specimens of Ptychochromis insolitus in 2013 after the last female died in captivity led to finding 18 individuals in wild. Including P. mainty, there are 10 described species of Ptychochromis. Most are under threat due to habitat destruction or other introduced species. Fish from Madagascar can be discussed in the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species section of the forum.

Astatotilapia brownae from Lake Victoria

Astatotilapia brownae

Astatotilapia brownae. Photo by Greg Steeves

Some might say that the name of the species pictured above is Haplochromis brownae, but for now I will refer to this species as Astatotilapia brownae. Many species from the Lake Victoria basin are classified under the catch-all genus Haplochromis. Over the years there has been an effort to reclassify many of these species into other genus. As far as I know, this species is still considered a Haplochromis but it is also found under the Astatotilapia name.

Originally found in Lake Victoria, this species is believed extinct in the wild. The Nile perch led to a drastic reduction in their numbers. The most recent surveys has come up with fish that appear to be A. brownae, but are misdentifications or hybrids. Poor water quality has let to visibility issues which in turn has caused many fish to spawn with the wrong species. Those who have kept this species report that these fish can be somewhat aggressive, but not as bad as some of the most aggressive Victorians. Males grow to about 4″ and should be kept with multiple females to distribute aggression. To discuss Astatotilapia brownae and other Lake Victoria basin species, visit the Lake Victoria forum.

Facial recognition in cichlids

facial recognition

Kohda et al. Images from publication. (CCAL)

A new research article has come up with some interesting finding in facial recognition by cichlids. The experiments were conducted with Neolamprologus pulcher, a schooling cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. The study found that when presented with images of different Neolamprologus pulcher, they could quickly recognize them as familiar or unfamiliar. A quick glance, < 0.5 seconds, was all that was needed for N. pulcher to identify recognizable facial features of familiar fish. The speed of recognition is comparable to that of primates, including humans. To read about the study visit PLOS.org. Discussion on N. pulcher can be done in the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.

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