This issue of Cichlid News has something for everyone! Many of the mbuna of Lake Malawi have an extremely elongated body, allowing them to slither inside rock crevices where they live. The first member of this group to be imported was recently described (Li et al. 2016) as Chindongo bellicosus. Included in this new genus, are members of the former “elongatus group”, but also other mbuna. Patrick Tawil introduces us to a group of mbuna he calls the hooded mbuna.

In their paper on the diversity and evolution of Central American cichlids Rícan et al. (2016) apply morphology to distinguish between the many taxa of cichlids. In their classification they use what they call ecomorphotypes (or ecomorphs). Based on food preference and feeding mode, five “cranial” ecomorphs are defined, “scrapers” being one of them. Scrapers feed on periphyton fixed to the substrate, mostly in fast flowing waters, a lifestyle which in turn has produced the adaptation of elongated body which serves them well in the high current. Willem Heijns introduces us to the trophic guild of Central American heroine cichlids he calls “lotic scrapers”.

One of the 15 species of lotic scrapers reviewed by Heijns is the mythical fruit-eating Tomocichla tuba. Regular contributor Juan Miguel Artigas Azas focuses on this large, rare and highly sought-after cichlid, expanding on its natural history and sharing his experiences and that of others, keeping and breeding this wonderful fish in the aquarium.

Jewel cichlids are surely the best known and most widely-distributed cichlids in the hobby, even though they have a bad reputation for being very aggressive. But their beautiful coloration and great breeding behavior always attracts experienced cichlid lovers as well as beginners. Anton Lamboj introduces us to the little-known species Hemichromis exsul which was been known in the hobby only via photos since the 1990s.

In the October 2017 issue of Cichlid News, regular contributor Oliver Lucanus wrote about the first commercial importation of Lake Kivu cichlids. Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lake Kivu is a challenging place to collect fishes. It is remote, located in the far north of the country, in one of the most politically unstable regions in sub-Saharan Africa. In this issue, he continues his presentation of the cichlids of Lake Kivu based on a second recent importation.

In 1992 the late Frank Warzel introduced hobbyists to three lugubris-group species of Pike cichlids from the Brazilian Rio Xingu. At that time none of these three had been formally described: they were referred to simply as C. sp. Xingu I, sp. Xingu II, and sp. Xingu III. Twenty-six years later, one of these, Xingu III has finally gotten a proper description and name (April 2018). Meet Crenicichla dandara.

The annual convention of the American Cichlid Association (ACA 2018) is being held July 4 -8 in Houston, Texas. This year’s convention highlights the organization’s collaboration with the aquarium fish conservation group CARES. For additional information please see the convention’s website http://2018acacares.com/wp/.

From Laif, Ad, and myself: Enjoy your cichlids!

Wayne S. Leibel, Editor

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