Astatotilapia calliptera from Lake Malawi

Astatotilapia calliptera

Astatotilapia calliptera. Photo by Greg Steeves

Astatotilapia calliptera looks like a cichlid that belongs in the Lake Victoria Basin, but it makes its home in Lake Malawi and surrounding rivers. Because A. calliptera lives in various rivers around Lake Malawi, there are different variants displaying a variety of subtle color differences. The A. calliptera pictured above appears to be of the variant collected from Thumbi East Island in Lake Malawi.

Spawning of this species is typical of Lake Victoria Haplochromines. Males are aggressive and need multiple females in order to spread out aggression. They are prolific spawners. Astatotilapia calliptera should be feed a balanced diet of protein and vegetable matter. In the wild, A. calliptera eats a varied diet of invertebrates, plants, algae and small fish. To read more about this beautiful, out-of-the-ordinary cichlid, visit the Species Article by Greg Steeves. Discussion can be done in the Lake Malawi Species forum.

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