Mouthbrooding cichlids of Lake Malawi

The final episode of the Earthtouch Lake Malawi series is all about mouthbrooding cichlids.

The final Cichlid of Lake Malawi episode, like all the others, is full of high quality in-the-wide footage. The episode focuses on mouthbrooding cichlids and the care it provides their young. This video highlights Serranochromis females but can be applied to most mouthbrooding cichlids. Although mouthbrooding isn’t unique to cichlids, the extended care of their young free swimming fry is common in cichlids. By protecting their new offspring, cichlids are able to produce smaller numbers of offspring with a higher chance of survival than species who don’t look after their young.

Most cichlid mouthbrooding is done by females, but in some cases males can share in the mouthbrooding responsibilities. Bi-parental mouthbrooders can be found in Lake Tanganyika and include some Xenotilapia species and Eretmodus species. Of course, there are those species where males aren’t supposed to mouthbrood but do anyway as seen in this Neochromis greenwoodi video.

Mouthbrooding cichlids

Holding Sciaenochromis fryeri.

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