Spathodus marlieri from Lake Tanganyika

Spathodus marlieri

Spathodus marlieri. Photo by Ad konings

Goby is a general term for several genus of cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. Gobies have a deflated swim bladder that makes them less buoyant. As a result, they tend to hug the rocks and “hop” around instead of swimming. The goby group is made up of three different genera and Spathodus marlieri is one of the two Spathodus species. Like other gobies, S. marlieri are found in shallow, rocky waters individually or in pairs. They feed on algae and microorganisms found living in the algae. Males S. marlieri can reach about 4 inches in length while females are a little smaller. Males will also develop a hump as they mature.

Spathodus marlieri has several characteristics that differentiate it from other gobies. Unlike Eretmodus, S. marlieri is not a bi-parental mouthbrooder. Only the female S. marlieri will carry the fertilized eggs. S. marlieri also tend to swim a little more, and hope less, than other gobies. Despite the differences, some characteristics remain the same. Spathodus marlieri form a bonded pair and do not tolerate other S. marlieri in their territory. A diet high in plant matter is a must. Pairs are best formed by obtaining a group of juveniles and letting mature take its course. Other fish should be removed promptly once a pair forms. A general article by Eric Glab titled The Goby Cichlids can be found in the library. To discuss S. marlieri visit the Lake Tanganyika Species froum.


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