Haplotaxodon microlepis from Lake Tanganyika

Haplotaxodon microlepis

Haplotaxodon microlepis. Photo by Ad Konings

Found throughout the open waters of Lake Tanganyika, Haplotaxodon microlepis is usually spotted alone or in pairs. Occasionally, schools of H. microlepis have been seen close to rocky shores. A lot about H. microlepis‘ behavior in the wild is unknown. They are bi-parental mouthbrooders that feed mostly on zooplankton and can reach up to 12 inches in length. They are rarely exported for the hobby. Haplotaxodon is a small genus with only two described species.

Not many hobbyists have kept Haplotaxodon microlepis. Their large size and limited availability being a contributing factor. Some hobbyists have reported pairs spawning, but fry rarely survive long enough to be released. It is unclear if the problem is with the females holding them long enough to transfer them to the males or with the transfer itself. Aside from reproduction, H. microlepis is not a problematic tankmate. They aren’t very aggressive and don’t seem to attract the attention of other species. They will however eat anything small enough to fit in their mouth. These fish require very large tanks, not only due to their size but their nature to swim in open waters. Tankmates should not be overly aggressive and also share a need for a more carnivorous diet. To discuss this species visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.


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