I'm going to head down to the basement and start trying to get a good recent shot of a male.
I have an old photo though that should at least keep us going on the discussion for tonight.
I believe I have species North.
The thing that I notice most is where the spot is located on your fish... notice my males spot is further back? You have to compare to the high point of the fin and your males spot is partly in that high part... mine is not.
Are there physical diffrences as well? I know that there are a lot of Xenotilapia's that also look similar. At the ACA convention, I saw one that I mistook for descampsi, as it was very similar with a double spot on the top fin. (In my defence, they were very stressed juviniles.) I know it takes more than diffrerent coloring to get clasified as a diffrent species.
As I am sure you have seen as well, it is very difficult to get a picture of this fish that shows it's colors well. (Don't ask how many pictures I took yesterday to get those six.) Do the species North have the yellow along the edge of the dorsal and anal fins, and along the front of the caudal fin?
I would love to see a picture where you can make out the ventral fins better as well. It almost looks like your fish has more rounded fins than mine. Do they have the same coloring on the edge?
I took some pictures of mine, and I'd be embarrassed to show them... I really need to get out the windex! I have the "main" variety too, but what I can't tell is, their sex! Anyone know of a way to tell them apart?
These guys are really hard to get pictures of. I have also had a hard time sexing them. I belive I actually only have one female. She is in the picture above on the right. I only know for sure she is a female because she is holding. As they get larger, the males seem to develop a little more blue and yellow coloration, and have color on the tail, anal fin and ventral fins, but the sub dominate ones don't display so it is really hard to tell. I have had this question on and off, so am glad some one else mentioned it.
I currently keep the variant with the blue dot on the dorsal. I do not know any specific name for it either, except that I have seen decampsi with a yellow dot. I know some buyers recently inquired about the same difference. They did not want the yellow dot variant. Seems unusual that so little is published about this great fish.
My dreams have come true. A discussion on Ectodus descampsii my favorite fish.
I have 5 fish 3M/2F (I hope). Mine look a lot like Azrider's because well I got them from him. My females have a very faint dot on there dorsal fin but when they are chasing the others away it gets more pleasant then goes back to normal. They are the smaller out of this group and tend to get out of the males way. I will post some pictures of my 5 tonight (hopefully).
I would like to see if we can get some good information to maybe start a species article on there profile page. If that is all possible. I think that would be cool because a lot is unknown about this beautiful fish.
Well something weird happen to me today that I wasn't aware of with this species. I had 2 guys come over that wanted to buy some fish. So I had some ruby red peacocks in with the tangs in my 53 gallon. I went to get the ruby reds out with a net and one of the Ectodus descampsii I think it was one of the females dart under the sand like a Fossorochromis rostratus (sand diver). Then after the danger had pass it swam out of the sand. It was pretty cool to see. I didn't know that they did that. I wish I had a camera at the time but no luck.
Number6, Glad to hear you've had good luck with those guys. They are a great fish and unfortunately there really isn't that much available about them. I wrote an article several years ago about them, and nobody seemed interested at the time to print it. Maybe I'll resurrect it and update it a bit. Their ability to bury themselves is unbelievable until you witness it. They can disappear into 2" of silica sand so fast, and even when you try and uncover them they are able to evade so well. Their snout is very hard to the touch, and their ability to swim so fast to plunge into the sand is incredible given their size.
I sent a pm about the fry to you, so please have a look.
Looking at the thumbnails is still worth it as the differences are obvious.
Ad Konings book, Back to Nature, Guide to Tanganyika cichlids shows photos of Ectodus from the North on page 77 from Burundi and the fish also appears elongated, and far less yellow in any fins.
The pic of the male at Namansi shows more yellow and Ad mentions that the Ectodus in the South have the yellow in the finnage.
As for which variant is the "true" E.decampsi... I guess that is up to the reader. The originally described species (Boulenger, 1898) was only recorded as "Tanganyika" so we have no idea if it was the Southern or Northern variant...
so you can either say the "ndole" is the true decampsii and the non-yellow is the "sp. North", or you can say the Northern variant is the real fish (As Mark's buyers seemed to feel) and that the "ndole" is the sub-species.
I finally got a few half way decent photos... after about 200 photos...
male and female:
I'd say I have the Northern type... agree? disagree?
So the female is the larger of the two? It has a faint halo but not as much as the male. Out of the 2 females I have (I think) one has no halo and a faint spot and the other has more of a halo then a spot. I guess I will no for sure is when they mate. Until then time will tell.